The Ethical Imperative of Simulation

This Is A Public Health Emergency

Medical mistakes lead to as many as 440,000 preventable deaths every year, making it the #3 leading cause of death in the United States (1).

How do we start solving such a dire public health emergency?

Answer: One of the most effective solutions, proven over and over again, both quantitatively and qualitatively, is high fidelity simulation.

The "To ERR Is Human" Report

The "To Err Is Human" report was first published in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine -- widely considered the origin of modern patient safety movement. This report found that (1) Simulation is a proven method to reduce medical error, increase team performance, and improve patient outcomes and survivability (2).

View Report Abstract

How Do You Make The Rare, Common? 

High Fidelity Simulation

Life-like Simulations That Make Real-life Surgery Safer

In this pivotal TED Talk, critical care doctor Peter Weinstock shows how surgical teams are using a blend of Hollywood special effects and 3D printing to create amazingly lifelike reproductions of real patients -- so they can practice risky surgeries ahead of time. Think: "Operate twice, cut once." Glimpse the future of surgery in this forward-thinking talk.

Simulation Is Reducing Medical Errors and Increasing Patient Safety

"We Don't Normally Get To Have A Hands-on Experience With a Trauma Patient"

After going through SIM-MT's mobile simulation lab, students from Montana State University Northern give their thoughts and feedback about the experience. 

Medical Simulation Reduces Errors At Local Hospitals

Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital participated in a U.S. Department of Defense project to transfer lessons learned in army aviation to medical teams in the Andrew F. Anderson Emergency Center. This multi-center military and civilian project demonstrated the benefits of implementing a teamwork training curriculum in emergency medicine:

  • Clinical error rate decreased from 30.9% to 4.4% in the experimental group.
  • ED staff attitudes toward teamwork improved.
  • Staff assessments of institutional support showed a significant increase.
Read More Here

Simulation Is Key To 98% Success Rate of Getting Soldiers Back Home

The value of simulation has also been discovered and deployed in military contexts. Speaking at a Society for Simulation in Healthcare conference, Stuart Bertsch, MD and Major, United States Air Force, lays out a difficult emergency medical simulation. It's the middle of the night, no lights on the runway, multiple soldiers injured in an explosive blast, and few medics to help. Major Bertsch asks, "How can we best prepare for this, how can we train for this mission? ...I can tell you that over the past decade simulation has helped contribute to the 98% success rate of getting these soldiers back home to their families."

Tampa Bay Lighting Hockey Team Embraces Medical Simulation

The value of simulation is being seen in professional sports, as well, found here helping the Tampa Bay Lighting hockey team providers and staff prepare for a medical emergency on the ice. “The simulation exercises, which included responding to cardiac arrest and airway trauma, helped prepare the participants on how to work more effectively as team in the rare event that a real hockey player needs emergency care during a game.”

Nursing School Embraces Medical Simulation

Simulation training is also becoming a key component in medical education world-wide. Montana State University Northern, for example, uses simulation to better prepare and train their nursing students. "Simulation just prepares our students to be better nurses, especially in the High Line where they're in such demand and rural medicine where they may go to clinical and not see any of these things” says Jaime Duke, Assistant Professor of Nursing at MSU Northern. "Simulation will actually prepare the students better if they are put in those high-stress [situations]. The burnout rates go down and that's what we want-- we want high quality nurses..."

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