Kerry Knickle and Nancy McNaughton, Michener Institute of Education at UHN, Toronto, Canada, present a report on the improvement of hospital safety culture through the use of simulation exercises.


Live simulation improves hospital culture of safety
Caring Safely is a unique staff development initiative created for a large newly integrated hospital system.  Dedicated to building and sustaining a culture of safety, seven modules have been implemented to support skills related to situation awareness and problem solving specific to organizational resilience.

A dynamic live simulation was created for the final module as a key innovative method to consolidate skills acquisition.  A Simulated Professional (SP) portrayed a health care clinician in crisis which was designed and facilitated to provide evocative and challenging real life experience; hands on opportunity to explore in practice, care and compassion through communication.


A couple of weeks ago I completed the last of the leadership sessions for Caring Safely.  The final session was capped for me by a scenario in which a member of Michener’s Simulated Participant Program was part of a simulation debrief of a critical incident.

I could see the emotions in the room as the actor vividly portrayed what it felt like to be a novice nurse who knew something was wrong as a patient’s condition deteriorated but didn’t know how to ask for help or perhaps was afraid to ask for that help.
The scenario was based on an incident that happened here at our hospital.

I came away thinking that the training, the discussions and the focus we have on Caring Safely is essential to creating a culture of safety where we all do what we can to ensure that no patient and no colleague comes to harm

Beyond the effective use of more traditional modalities (didactic presentations, smaller group break-out discussions, face-to-face as well as video clips) live simulation invites a perspective sharing among adult learners from diverse learning backgrounds.

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