Improving safety outcomes through medical error reduction via virtual reality-based clinical skills training

Publication Name

Safety Science


The reduction of medical error in clinical procedures is a key factor in improving patient safety and health outcomes. This paper describes an empirical study that compared the human error outcomes between two novice groups of medical students performing Arterial Blood Gas collection; both groups of students were given the same traditional training (bookwork, demonstration and simulated practical), however the study group was provided with an interactive Virtual Reality (VR) practical experience developed by Vantari VR prior to the simulated practical. The results of the study showed that students who had undertaken the VR clinical skills training recorded 40% less errors during a simulated practical than the control group. The contributions of this study are threefold: 1) that VR-based clinical skills training is viable and provides improved outcomes for learners, 2) improved insights into the nature of human error in VR training and 3) prospective and retrospective error analyses are both useful in the iterative design of VR procedural training.

Open Access Status

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Article Number


Funding Sponsor

University of Wollongong



Link to publisher version (DOI)