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Bookending, as we call it, is where you use virtual patient cases before and after another simulation modality. For example, instead of standing around an expensive high-fidelity human patient simulator mannequin, discussing things like what equipment you would need or what roles to assign to various team members, why not use a virtual patient so that team members can be introduced to their context and what is coming up?

This way you can use a cheap, easily accessible modality to get some of the prep work done. Think about it. This is the way that Disney gets you into the zone – fully engaged with what is to come. They use cheap video loops, posters and static artefacts to gradually introduce you to the adventure. The actual amount of time that you spend on the full-motion simulator is only about 90 seconds. But you are pumped when you get there, with adrenal glands secreting nicely.

Similarly, during the debrief. Is it really worth standing around that mannequin? Time to make room for the next incoming group. Use a virtual patient case to pose some follow up questions to the player or the group. Provide them with some additional materials to consider – they can also access this same material later at home.