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Jeff Gold on Competing in the Next Economy

“The way we’re going to accelerate innovation and, therefore, competitiveness in our nation and on the global stage is by cutting free and liberating the future workforce.”

Dr. Jeff Gold

Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Nebraska System

Chancellor, University of Nebraska Medical System Center

Members of the Council on Competitiveness Board and Executive Committee, and Commissioners and Advisors from the National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers came together this summer at Gallup World Headquarters to take stock of the Council’s work and explore the challenges and opportunities driving Phase 2 of the National Commission’s work.

During the meeting, Dr. Jeff Gold, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Nebraska System and Chancellor of University of Nebraska Medical System Center, shared innovative steps University of Nebraska is taking to strengthen the future healthcare workforce:

- Developing the health care workforce. About three years ago, the University of Nebraska opened the Davis Global Center, a 200,000 square foot augmented and virtual reality training program, supported by $140 million in state and private sector funding. The Center’s aim is tobuild competence and confidence in the future health care workforce, put an end to high turnover in the healthcare workforce and raise the quality and safety of health care. The Center provides education and training in all areas, from the most complex surgical procedures to just-in-time learning for the military at the front of combat locations in field hospitals around the world.

The Center serves students in theUniversity of Nebraska system and active military reservists, and works closely with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and others. More than 140,000 unique learners have gone through the center thus far, including 45,000 who wear the cloth of our nation.

- Using augmented and virtual reality for training. One of the Center’s major advantages is team learning using AR/VR to create permanent muscle memory for health care professionals such as surgeons and other proceduralists. People who do cardiac catheterization can operate on a virtual patient a dozen or 100 times with the goal of minimizing blood loss, complications, operative time, and hospitalization, and only then go to the operating room and do a real patient.

The Center has worked with the private sector on research and development, for example, on new types of cardiac stents that were first tested in a virtual environment, then deployed in the exact human being for which the images were rendered with no complications and a perfect technical outcome.The Center servesneurosurgeons from all over the world planning complex surgical procedures to minimize neurological consequences and, at the same time, optimize tumor removal, aneurysm treatment, etc. 

- Proof-of-concept. Through the use of this training, in the university’s own medical center, surgical wound infections and hospital acquired sepsis deaths are down to essentially zero, which has catapulted the center from the mid-tier of Vizient rankings up to the top ten for the last years.

“Not only do we increase competency and reduce medical errors, but it results in reduced length of stay, which has a tremendous economic and capacity impact and reduces cost.” – Dr. Jeff Gold, Chancellor, University of Nebraska Medical System Center

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