AHRQ Views

Blog posts from AHRQ leaders

Jeff BradyWhat do aerospace, maritime operations, nuclear power, the military, and healthcare have in common?

If you guessed that they're all high-risk settings, you're partially correct. The complete answer, though, is that each of these high-risk fields routinely uses simulation to identify and reduce their potentially dangerous impact. Experts from aerospace to healthcare have learned that simulation has a major role to play in preventing harm to people; increasing safety for patients, workers, and providers; reducing damage to equipment; and protecting the environment.

Healthcare organizations, physicians, and other clinicians are increasingly using simulation training to practice high-risk techniques and establish safe protocols to improve patient safety. As evidence of simulation's far-reaching impact, recent AHRQ-funded grants have examined its use in varied healthcare settings and for a wide range of patient and clinician needs, including radiation oncology, suicide prevention, critical care decision-making skills, and the safe use of electronic health records.

To enhance its uptake, AHRQ and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) have worked together on an array of initiatives, tools, and activities that highlight simulation's impact on patient safety. This week, AHRQ is joining with SSH to support the inaugural Healthcare Simulation Week 2017, which will raise awareness about simulation and its ability to improve healthcare's safety, effectiveness, and efficiency.

Christine ParkA variety of educational events and activities will be held during Healthcare Simulation Week 2017, including:

  •  Free access to SSH's Simulation in Healthcare (SIH) journal
  • September 13 from 3:30 to 4:30 ET. @Twitter Journal Club discussion on Evaluation of a Simpler Tool to Assess Nontechnical Skills During Simulated Critical Events
  • Healthcare Simulation Week, LIVE! on SSH's Facebook page
    • September 12, 1:00 to 1:30 pm ET: Myths and Facts about Live Human Simulation, Carrie Bohnert, Vice President of Operations, Association of Standardized Patient Educators.
    • September 13, 2:00 PM ET: Get an Insider's View of the Broward College Health Sciences Simulation Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
    • September 14, 3:00 PM ET: Productive Debriefing with Dr. Walter Eppich, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Emergency Medicine) and Medical Education, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
    • September 15, 1:00 PM ET:  Tour of the  Simulation Learning, Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) at the Veterans Health Administration's National Simulation Center by staff.
  • Simulation centers throughout the world are hosting their own celebrations and sharing photos and videos on #HcSimWeek.

In addition to their ongoing collaboration, AHRQ and SSH last year released the Healthcare Simulation Dictionary, a resource for simulation professionals that contains over 100 terms and definitions. A valuable tool for researchers, academia, and affiliated societies, the dictionary establishes consistent terminology and improves communication.

AHRQ's funding of simulation research, which began in 2007, continues to attract the interest of patient safety investigators. Outside of research grants, other AHRQ activities that use simulation include grants to investigators working in Patient Safety Learning Laboratories. Their goal is to evaluate the integrated working system in a realistic simulated or actual clinical setting that may involve facility design features, devices and technologies, patients and providers, and new workflow protocols.

SSH is committed to serving a global community of practice to enhance the quality of healthcare through simulation. SSH works  to advance awareness in the healthcare community that simulation is a better way to learn, investigate human performance and teamwork, and test and improve systems.

Simulation has evolved into a distinct profession within healthcare, and the ever-growing body of peer-reviewed work published in  SSH's journal Simulation in Healthcare continues to push the boundaries of knowledge and refine best practice. SSH provides professional development, promotes research, and disseminates evolving knowledge and practice. The International Meeting of Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), at which all of these elements come together, is the largest annual global gathering of healthcare simulation professionals.

Join AHRQ and SSH in this global celebration of Healthcare Simulation Week. Now is an exciting time to generate and spread new knowledge that improves patient safety in many different settings. We welcome investigators interested in AHRQ funding opportunities to submit research applications.

Jeff Brady is the Director, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, AHRQ.
Christine Park is the President, Board of Directors, Society for Simulation in Healthcare. 

Page last reviewed September 2017
Page originally created September 2017
Internet Citation: Healthcare Simulation Research Helps Lower Risks, Keep Patients Safer. Content last reviewed September 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/blog/ahrqviews/healthcare-simulation-research.html