OpusVi and Mursion partner to improve communication skills of healthcare professionals using emotionally intelligent simulations

4 min read


People communicate every day. And since we do it so much, it might be easy to forget how hard communication can be. Yet, picture yourself in the following situations:

  • You’re a healthcare provider discussing birth control options with a 15-year old patient. Her father is present during the consultation.
  • You’re the lead of a nursing floor. One of your employees consistently underperforms, which is starting to affect patient outcomes.
  • Budget cuts at your urgent care facility are forcing you to lay off 20% of your staff. Since this facility is located in a rural community, you know most of your staff closely.

If you’re breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of being faced with these conversations, you’re not alone. But in healthcare, avoiding them is not an option. The difference between a successful or unsuccessful conversation can make the difference between good and bad patient outcomes, or even life or death.

Giving healthcare professionals a safe practice environment for difficult conversations

This is why OpusVi is now partnering with Mursion, a provider of authentic, immersive learning experiences that harness the best in artificial and human intelligence, to include high-impact, high-quality, emotionally intelligent simulations in our learning experiences for healthcare professionals. Mursion will allow OpusVi students to practice their social effectiveness via a series of co-developed scenarios they are likely to encounter in their career as healthcare professionals. For the first time, Mursion’s scenarios will be integrated into a high-quality, complete learning pathway for healthcare. Thereby, the partnership seeks to improve the healthcare workforce as a whole. 

“So much patient dissatisfaction or even medical errors are due to miscommunication,” says Julie DeLoia, Chief Academic Officer of OpusVi. “How do we train individuals to hone in on their communication skills and be good practitioners in a safe and kind way? Mursion can play a key role in helping learners reach professional excellence. There is a crisis brewing in healthcare so we’re going to have to do things differently and we have to be creative.”


Using simulation technology to optimize outcomes

Mursion’s team includes experts in human intelligence, robotics, business analytics, project management, theatre, education, design, and product development to design simulations that allow learners to practice difficult conversations in an immersive, but safe environment and receive immediate feedback. While scenarios are going to be customized for healthcare professionals, they span a wide variety of non-clinical topics such as leadership, service, diversity and inclusion, and career skills. Presenting these scenarios in a simulated format has proven to be more useful and even more realistic than role-play.

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“Using avatars creates a sense of privacy and authenticity for the learner,” says Mursion CEO Mark Atkinson. “So once they get over the initial discomfort, they get to lean into the situation. Thanks to practice and feedback, when they encounter a similar situation in real life, they will know how to react instead of triggering a fight or flight response. It’s all about applicable scenarios to maximize learning. We not only want you to love to learn, but also to love to learn and then apply."


The partnership provides a complete tool kit for scalable high-impact learning available to all healthcare systems 

This partnership complements OpusVi’s mission to deliver scalable, transformational learning experiences that facilitate true knowledge retention and results.

“We already use expertly-produced learning content from some of the best universities in the world, self-reflective and project-based exercises, collaborative social learning tools, and one-on-one feedback from highly-experienced healthcare professionals to ensure that students derive meaningful learning from our programs,” says OpusVi’s Chief Learning Experience Officer Kurt Hayes. “And this expansion was the next logical step. I’ve been following Mursion’s progress for seven years and I saw that this is the future of soft-skills training. I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to bring our organizations together to do something meaningful. This point has come. The combination of our educational approaches doesn’t exist for healthcare — healthcare organizations now have immediate access to some very powerful, scalable learning solutions for their entire workforce.”


True to OpusVi’s approach of student-centric program development, scenarios focused on communicating performance feedback, building influence and buy-in, and coaching direct reports through workplace conflict are currently being developed for a test group of healthcare professionals within our Certificate in Healthcare Leadership program with Duke CE. Using their feedback, the partners will co-develop more custom scenarios for the remainder of OpusVi’s program catalog.

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