Association for Simulated Practise in Healthcare (ASPiH), 6th – 8th November 2017, Telford International Centre
By Rebecca Broomfield
As a part of my Clinical Leadership Fellow year I am focusing on the evaluation of simulation as a teaching technique, attempting to relate this to improved patient safety and improved patient outcomes. Anybody who knows me knows that I love a simulated scenario as a teaching session, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea but it really fantastic opportunity to learn. I therefore jumped at the chance to attend the ASPiH conference.
I started by attending a pre-conference workshop session based on Evaluation of Simulation. I was actually unaware that pre-conference workshops happened. A lot of big conferences have a day prior to the main event which they run focus groups or workshops that people can attend to be taught and explore ideas with like minded others. My workshop covered a lot of educational theory behind simulation and how you can use this to evaluate your simulation sessions. Key learning points included the fact that a poor evaluation undermines the development of new approaches. The evaluation itself is “a systematic acquisition and assessment of info to provide useful feedback about some [object]”, therefore while evaluation of the session is often an afterthought and a quick Likert score which nobody reads or bothers to fill in correctly, it really should be an important part of the structure of the simulation session. We also discussed how to structure your evaluation and a way to form a measurable outcome.
The actual conference kicked off on the Tuesday morning. There were key note sessions delivered at different points in the day and there were split sessions with a choice of what to attend between these. The keynotes were all interesting a relevant to current trends in simulation. Cherrie Evan’s talk on delivering simulation based education in Africa was an eye opener and inspiring to see how correctly administered simulation can really make a significant difference in patient safety and improve outcomes. Her work was through an organisation called Jhpiego and focuses on the safety of a mother and newborn at delivery. Dr Gabriel Reedy delivered a session on the educational theory behind education, which is particularly relevant to my project. All the keynotes can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzm6Ad9XIwxmnblhwSbEcjceDNpUFW1iu - I’d also recommend watching Dr Al Ross’ talk on Resilience within healthcare if like me you’ve become a bit disillusioned with the term resilience and its meaning.
In between the keynotes there was so much going on, it was almost overwhelming. Sessions ran throughout the day with presentations about many different aspects of simulation from setting up in-situ simulations with an emergency department, evaluation of simulation sessions and development of simulations focusing on wellbeing and resilience. The sponsors were around with lots of new technology and we got to play with all the new simulation models. There is a particularly interesting baby and child model which is amazingly lifelike and provokes significant emotion (I automatically checked the veins on this model immediately after picking it up!) I also got to observe a session using a interactive tent to have a projected environment in which to run a simulation. The situation that I observed was a building site with an injured builder. The walls were displaying images of a new housing estate and there were building site noises being played throughout. The tent feeds into the educational theory of distributed cognition suggesting that we need to be investing cognitive power into the technology as well as the people.
ASPiH is working hard to provide a standardised quality simulation teaching nationwide and as such they have developed their standards documents which can be found here: http://aspih.org.uk/standards-framework-for-sbe/. These outline the standard expectations for running a good simulation education program. It is looking into developing an accreditation system in order to promote good quality simulation. We know that simulation teaching is good, we now need to prove it and regulate its delivery in order to standardise experiences.
I am even more excited about simulation teaching and its huge potential since attending this conference. I tweeted throughout the days including sketchnotes of some of the sessions I attended, if you are interested in these they are on my twitter feed for the conference dates. I am planning on attending the Paediatric specific International Pediatric Simulation Society (IPSS) conference during May in Amsterdam, if anybody fancies joining me you’d be welcome.
If you want more information on ASPiH then visit their website here: http://aspih.org.uk/
Dr Annabel Greenwood