Using simulation-based training to improve patient safety: what does it take?

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2005 Jul;31(7):363-71. doi: 10.1016/s1553-7250(05)31049-x.


Background: Through simulations health care workers can learn by practicing skills taught and experiencing mistakes before interacting with an actual patient. A number of areas within the health care industry are currently using simulation-based training to help individuals and teams improve patient safety. WHAT IS SIMULATION-BASED TRAINING? The key components of simulation-based training are as follows: performance history/skill inventory, tasks/competencies, training objectives, events/exercises, measures/metrics, performance diagnosis, and feedback and debrief. WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR SIMULATION-BASED TRAINING TO BE EFFECTIVE? To be effective, simulation-based training must be implemented appropriately. The guidelines are as follows: understand the training needs and requirements; instructional features, such as performance measurement and feedback, must be embedded within the simulation; craft scenarios based on guidance from the learning outcomes; create opportunities for assessing and diagnosing individual and/or team performance within the simulation; guide the learning; focus on cognitive/psychological simulation fidelity; form a mutual partnership between subject matter experts and learning experts; and ensure that the training program worked.

Conclusion: The health care community can gain significantly from using simulation-based training to reduce errors and improve patient safety when it is designed and delivered appropriately.

MeSH terms

  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods*
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Safety Management*
  • United States