The Interprofessional Innovation Collaboratory is an expansion of our clinical skills environments to incorporate the latest technologies that are being used in the health care setting, particularly in the areas of telehealth and nursing robotics. It encompasses interdisciplinary education and innovation from student through veteran faculty members and works to increase the reach of nursing faculty and health care providers.
Housing a state-of-the-art Telehealth and Clinical Translation Center, the collaboratory allows nursing students to gain invaluable telehealth experience and workforce readiness. Designed to serve as an innovation collaboratory, the center comprises two patient rooms that each include a human simulation patient and can be altered to mirror various health care settings; a soundproof control room to control the operation of simulators; a debriefing room for students and faculty to discuss simulation experiences; and a storage room that contains materials for the physiological aspects of simulators.
UC College of Nursing expanded the use of technology in their nursing education, research and practice offerings with the addition of its first InTouch RP-7, a telehealth remote presence robot, in 2013. Through popular vote of nursing alum Patti Porter’s nomination, the robot was named “Flo-Bot” in honor of Florence Nightingale. Located in the Innovation Collaboratory House at Maple Knoll Village, a nonprofit continuing care retirement community, Flo-Bot is used to conduct a research study on effectively extending the reach of faculty, other health care providers and the aging nursing workforce.
A newly acquired "Flo-Bot" also resides in the collaboratory to be used for additional telehealth practice. Practicing with simulation patients teaches students how to exhibit leadership, professionalism and organization when caring for a patient.
Telehealth robots are used in the health care field to provide medical access to facilities that do not have advanced degree specialists on staff and to overcome geographical limitations. Students at UC College of Nursing gain competence and confidence through practicing with telehealth equipment. While preparing students for transforming environments and enhancing their patient care skills, the college also uses robotics to assist with the projected nurse and nurse educator shortages. The college, through the Interprofessional Innovation Collaboratory, is also working with colleges across the university to include physicians, engineers, business majors and allied health majors in robotic care delivery.