Background: The integration of simulation into the training of health care professionals provides context for decision making and procedural skills in a high-fidelity environment, without risk to actual patients. It was hypothesised that a novel approach to simulation-based education - error management training - would produce higher performance ratings compared with traditional step-by-step instruction.
Method: Radiology technology students were randomly assigned to participate in traditional procedural-based instruction (n = 11) or vicarious error management training (n = 11). All watched an instructional video and discussed how well each incident was handled (traditional instruction group) or identified where the errors were made (vicarious error management training). Students then participated in a 30-minute case-based simulation. Simulations were videotaped for performance analysis. Blinded experts evaluated performance using a predefined evaluation tool created specifically for the scenario. Blinded experts evaluated performance using a predefined evaluation tool created specifically for the scenario
Results: The vicarious error management group scored higher on observer-rated performance (Mean = 9.49) than students in the traditional instruction group (Mean = 9.02; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that incorporating the discussion of errors and how to handle errors during the learning session will better equip students when performing hands-on procedures and skills. This pilot study provides preliminary evidence for integrating error management skills into medical curricula and for the design of learning goals in simulation-based education.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.