The March 2007 issue of the journal Simulation in Healthcare carries a full report (and editorial) concerning a first-of-its-kind Simulation Summit convened by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) in November 2006. This Summit had the goal of fostering dialogue among stakeholders interested in a robust future for simulation in healthcare. Fifty-five individuals participated, representing the leadership of 33 organizations including specialty societies, regulatory bodies, and industry.
The SSH chose to hold the Summit both because of its mission to lead the facilitation of excellence in multidisciplinary simulation-based healthcare education, practice, and research, and its vision to move simulation into the mainstream of healthcare. Participants at the Summit worked diligently and collaboratively. The group first defined “simulation” in its diverse forms, then reviewed the ways that it could be used to improve patient care. Through facilitated small group discussions, a consensus was reached on the key issues that must be addressed to advance the field.
This forum provided a starting point for increased collaboration and cooperation within the healthcare simulation community and with external stakeholders. The use of simulation has exploded recently, leaving many groups to work independently toward achieving what is essentially a common goal. Fostering both collaboration and healthy competition will provide efficient and effective means of achieving the success desired by all who share the goal of improved patient safety through diverse applications of simulation-based techniques. Future summits will build on the items outlined in the report to incorporate new ideas and facilitate ongoing progress.
Dr. Sinz is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Neurosurgery and Director of the Simulation Development and Cognitive Science Laboratory with the Office of Educational Affairs at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.