Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Pre-Hospital Care

Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Pre-Hospital Care

“These cases are excellent! They take you through realistic scenarios and help the learner to understand the prevalence and severity of domestic violence in our ER patient population. Additionally, the entire curriculum underscores the importance of screening for domestic violence in our patients.”

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine – Schülich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario

The Problem

Given the increasing amount of domestic abuse, in 2004 The Ontario Women’s Directorate was looking for a solution. They asked key groups who served the public to respond to a bid with innovative solutions. The goal? To educate service workers on how to identify and intervene in situations where there was violence against women.

The Opportunity

Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Pre-Hospital Care oversees education and training for paramedics in the Toronto and Peel area. One of their leading medics was passionate about violence against women issues. As a result, they choose to file a proposal to the Ontario Women’s Directorate. In order to answer the requirement for a measurable, trackable and sustaining solution, they partnered with E=mz2 Inc. to use their leading edge learning technology. The technology uses serious gaming which allows for progressive learning. Most importantly the serious gaming format allows one to measure that both knowledge and the skills to use that knowledge have been acquired.

The Solution

E=mz2 built 8 English interactive case stories with Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Pre-hospital Care for paramedics with a group of experts in the medical community. This was followed by 12 English and 8 French fully interactive case stories that were built for emergency doctors and nurses. These were developed in partnership with Women’s College Hospital and SOCPC and a group of partners in the medical community.

All of the interactive case stories include interactive learning methodologies to gain the required knowledge, a game based situation where the learner makes choices on how to communicate with the patient and a final evaluation to ensure that learning has taken place.

Additionally, E=mz2 built a fully customized game based engine to handle the administrative and log in process. The system captures detailed data, provides learners with immediate results, manages pre and post assessment, and notifies the administrator when certification has been achieved.

The Result

There are over 5000 users to date, ranging from Medical Doctors, Registered Nurses, Paramedics, Firefighters and Medical Students.

Sunnybrook-Osler Centre for Prehospital Care (SOCPC) has received an award for E=mz2’s game-based simulations. The award is presented by the University of Toronto, W. T. Aikins Teaching Award, for Excellence in Development and use of Innnovative Instructional Methods. E=mz2 developed the interactive game based simulations for OWD (Ontario Women’s Directorate) and SOCPC with our learning technology. The twelve (12) simulations are for doctors and nurses in Emergency Departments. The simulations focus on detecting and intervening in cases where they suspect violence against women. E=mz2 is honoured to have contributed to this important e-learning project. For further information, please visit:

Next Steps

E=mz2 was given a further opportunity to develop in conjunction with The Ontario Women’s Directorate and Sunnybrook-Osler 8 further case stories for nurses and doctors in emergency departments, family physicians and firefighters.

Learner feedback on the system has been extremely positive and further interactive case stories for other learning applications within Sunnybrook-Osler have been developed for:

  • Family physicians
  • Paramedics
  • Firefighters
  • Perinatal Practioners

We are in the early stages of the collection of data on long term impact; however the pre and post analysis prove the implementation of the interactive, true-to-life, training missions increases competence and confidence. Users report an increased ability to detect and intervene in cases where they suspect violence against women. Additionally, the data collected will provide ongoing research opportunities on how to further impact this serious and important issue.

Learner feedback on the system for the paramedics has been extremely positive and further interest is being generated to develop more interactive case stories for other learning applications within Sunnybrook-Osler.