Improving Patient Safety Through Simulation Research
Simulation in health care creates a safe learning environment that allows researchers and practitioners to test new clinical processes and enhance individual and team skills before touching patients. AHRQ is the lead Federal agency investing in research to identify the best ways to use simulation in health care.
Simulation helps clinicians practice or become skilled in a technique before treating patients. There are many types of simulation, including the use of mannequins, standardized patients (actors), part-task trainers, and virtual reality.
Simulation Research Grants
Since 2006, AHRQ has been funding simulation research as part of its patient safety mission. This research has expanded the knowledge about how to use simulation to make care safer in a variety of clinical settings. Some examples of this work include inserting ultrasound-guided central venous catheters, diagnosing skin cancer, identifying sepsis, and measuring laparoscopic skill in surgeons.
Are you interested in receiving funding for simulation research? Find out what opportunities are available.
Healthcare Simulation Dictionary
AHRQ worked with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and its affiliates to produce a comprehensive Healthcare Simulation Dictionary that includes more than 100 terms and definitions. The dictionary provides uniform terminology to enhance communication and clarity for users of health care simulation in teaching, education, assessment, and research. Read the Healthcare Simulation Dictionary.
Using Simulation to Improve the Response to Emergent Threats
Simulating the response to specific threats can identify gaps in care processes and establish high levels of individual and team performance. The AHRQ issue brief, Health Care Simulation to Advance Safety: Responding to Ebola and Other Threats, explains the potential of simulation to help prepare for emerging epidemics.