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A podcast dedicated to the discussion of healthcare simulation. Debunking dogma, demystifying jargon and translating knowledge. Hosted by Dr Victoria Brazil and Jesse Spurr


Safety in simulation – the harms involved in trying to improve patient safety! 


Many healthcare simulation programs are aimed at improving patient safety, and yet these programs also carry their own safety risks – to participants, and to the institutions and patients whose safety we are trying to improve. 

Ann Mullen joined us in this episode of Simulcast to discuss the Foundation for Simulation Safety – an initiative that she and Dan Raemer from Center for Medical Simulation in Boston have developed. 

Ann is the Simulation Center program manager at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, and a nurse by clinical background. 

We discussed the categories of risks inherent in simulation – learner psychological and physical safety, and patient and institutional risks from fake medications, or unintended triggering of hospital responses to simulation activities. Stu Marshall and Cate McIntosh authored a chapter on this topic1 in the Nestel et al textbook recently reviewed on Simulcast. 

The Foundation website provides details of incidents, and access to labels designed to prevent these errors. Ann and Dan are also trying to use social media to promote this cause and to facilitate sharing stories of adverse events in sim and best practices in preventing them. Check out #keepsimsafe on Instagram and Twitter 

We discussed how perhaps we needed a reporting system for these incidents, and looked at the role of safety criteria in accreditation standards.    

Thanks to Ann for talking to us about an important topic. 




  1. Marshall, S. and McIntosh, C. (2017) Strategies for managing adverse events in healthcare simulations, in Healthcare Simulation Education: Evidence, Theory and Practice (edsD. Nestel, M. Kelly, B. Jolly and M. Watson), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. 
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In our September journal club podcast Ben and Vic discuss the paper of the month  

Chung HS, Dieckmann P, Issenberg SB. It is time to consider cultural differences in debriefing. 
Simulation in Healthcare : The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. 
2013 Jun;8(3):166-70. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e318291d9ef.  


We then reviewed some recent papers 

Thomson FC, Morrison I, Watson WA Going Professional’: using point-of-view filming to facilitate preparation for practice in final year medical students BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning Published Online First: 30 June 2017. doi: 10.1136/bmjstel-2017-000224 

Davison M, Kinnear FB, Fulbrook P Evaluation of a multiple-encounter in situ simulation for orientation of staff to a new paediatric emergency service: a single-group pretest/post-test study BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning Published Online First: 28 June 2017. doi: 10.1136/bmjstel-2016-000138 

Lovett S, Roche J, Hunter S, Symonds I, Tomlinson N, Gagnon R, Charlin B, Mattes J, Respective value of the traditional clinical rotation and high fidelity simulation on the acquisition of clinical reasoning skills in medical students – A Randomized Controlled Trial., MedEdPublish, 2016, 5, [2], 9,  doi:https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2016.000037 

In our discussion we also talked about the Script concordance test and more reading here if interested. 

And gave a shout out to mededpublish.org as a potential destination for authors interested in open access and post publication peer review processes. 


And Ben introduced next month’s paper  

Karen L. Lewis et al. The Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) Standards of Best Practice (SOBP). Advances in Simulation 2017 2:10  https://doi.org/10.1186/s41077-017-0043-4 

Please add your comments on the website - looking forward to another great discussion  


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In the third of our series with Advances in Simulation, we discuss Tracing the prescription journey: a qualitative evaluation of an interprofessional simulation-based learning activity. 

Cooke et al. evaluated an interprofesional simulation activity involving medical and pharmacy students, using a qualitative analysis. The simulation involved followed a patient journey from presentation in a community setting, through an assessment and prescribing process, to the dispensing and patient education stages of the patient journey. 

Simulcast was fortunate to have Gerry Gormley (@DrGerryG) as our guest author, together with Christy Noble as a discussant. 

Gerry is an academic general practitioner and Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Medical Education (CME), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). His roles there include the lead for educational research, including that relating to simulation based learning in healthcare.   

Christy Noble is a pharmacist and Principal Research Fellow (Allied Health) at Gold Cost Hospital and Health Service. Her PhD work reviewed focussed on undergraduate pharmacy curricula, and she is currently researching interprofessional co-supervision and practice-based learning. 

Our conversation canvassed the challenges in IPE activities, the specific opportunities afforded by simulation for IPE, and took a dive into some robust qualitative research methods employed by the study team.  

Thanks to our guests and to Advances for another wonderful collaborative effort 



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Ben Symon covered the “Serious Games” stream at the Australasian Simulation Congress in Sydney. Serious Games “…are those designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment”.  

The ASC included the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge – Australasia (SGSCA), with a number of outstanding entrants

Dale Linegar convened the Games section of the ASC. He spoke to Ben about the concept and the competition, including a description of the winner - Opaque Space’s Earthlight – a VR experience of being on the international space station. 

He also interviewed Maureen Winn from HETI who developed the ‘Comprehensive Assessment’ game for the Rural Generalist Nurse online learning program. 

And finally Ben caught up with Brett Levy from Bilbie Virtual Labs, who are taking a new approach to Australian cultural heritage in the Virtual Kumay

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Victoria Brazil and Ben Symon hosted a wrap of Day 3 at the ASC. 

Our coverage starts with a session on “Hands off teaching” with Rod Peadon and David Gillespie from Coffs Harbour. 

We then covered the final health plenary on The future of healthcare simulation, involving some leading figures from the simulation community. Leonie Watterson from Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre spoke about the RQI program and a possible future of automated assessment. 

Michelle Kelly from Curtin University presented work on the integration of simulation into nursing curricula, from a collaboration that included fellow panel members Phillipa Seaton from University of Otago and Tracey Levitt-Jones from University of Technology Sydney.

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Victoria Brazil interviewed a series of industry exhibitors at the Australasian Simulation Congress in Sydney. 

The podcast featured Graeme Foulds from Laerdal Australia, one of the main meeting sponsors, Charles Henden from the Valley General Hospital Virtual Hospital, and some defence simulation from Lockheed Martin

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ASPE and Simulated Patients with Cathy Smith at ASC 2017 


Simulated Patient methodology has been featured in a number of sessions at the Australasian Simulation Congress in Sydney 

Victoria Brazil spoke with Cathy Smith, the current chair of ASPE – the Association of Standardised Patient Educators  

We discussed some hot topics in human simulation, together with the recently published Standards of Best Practice (SOBP) in Advances in Simulation.

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Day 2 at the Australasian Simulation Congress in Sydney 

Victoria Brazil and Ben Symon hosted a wrap of Day 2 at the ASC, with a focus on Serious Games and interprofessional education. 

Jeffrey Brand from Bond University gave an insight into the panel discussion and the state of the art for Serious Games in Australia. 

The Simhealth stream offered a plenary session on interprofessional education, chaired by Cathy Smith. She and John Paige spoke to us after the panel and offered some insights into best practice in IPE in 2017.  

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Victoria Brazil and Ben Symon interviewed panelists from the final plenary for Day 1 at the ASC 

We heard from Alison Michaels and Steph Barwick about their Popup simulation program in Brisbane, and Cameron Knott from Victoria about how ISS can run in hospital practice. Simon Wilson then shared his insights into GP simulation, and Dylan Campher from CSDS in Queensland gave us an idea about how simulation centres are supporting ISS and patient safety in new ways.  


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Day 1 at the Australasian Simulation Congress in Sydney

Victoria Brazil and Ben Symon hosted a wrap of Day 1 at the ASC, with a focus on teamwork and In situ Simulation. 

Keynote speaker Eduardo Salas presented the highlights of 30 years of teamwork research, and we interviewed him after the session, concentrating on some ways forward for research and practice in this area. We also captured a few delegate perspectives. 

We also spoke to ASC convenor Jessica Stokes- Parish about running simulations on stage and wat the exhibitors had in store for us. 

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