Introduction: There have been an increasing number of studies published since 2011 investigating the benefits of in situ simulation as a quality improvement (QI) modality. We instituted an emergency department (ED) in situ simulation program at Kelowna General Hospital in 2015 with the aims of improving inter-professional collaboration, improving team communication, developing resident resuscitation leadership skills, educating ED professionals on resuscitation medical expertise, and identifying QI action items from each simulation session. Methods: We applied the SMART framework. Our specific, measureable, and attainable goal was to select two QI action items discovered from each simulation session. Realistic and timely follow-up on each action item was conducted by the nurse educator group who reported back to the local ED network, pharmacy, or manager depending on the action item. This ensured sustainability of our model. Results: A total of 65 individuals participated in 2015 at program inception. This increased to 213 individuals in 2017 with an average of 24 participants/session. Attendants included nurses (31%), ED physicians (20%), ED residents (18%), paramedics (10%), and medical students, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and others (21%). Our QI action items were grouped as (1) team/communication, (2) equipment/resources, and (3) knowledge/tasks. Examples of each category were: (1) Inability to hear paramedic bedside reports resulting in reinforcement of one paramedic speaking while the team remains quiet, (2) Difficulty in looking up medication information in the resuscitation bay resulting in installation of an additional computer in the resuscitation bay, and (3) Uncertainty of local process for initiating extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the ED resulting in review of team placement, patient transfer, and initiation of ECMO lines in the ED. Inter-professional team members have reported through electronic feedback on the value of these sessions, including improved inter agency cooperation and understanding. Conclusion: This quality improvement initiative used in situ simulation as a QI tool. We were able to identify latent safety threats, test new patient care protocols, find equipment issues, and foster teamwork in a sustainable way to improve the quality of care in our ED. We hope that this serves as encouragement to others who are initiating a similar program. Our main suggestions after reflection include: (1) Engage a multidisciplinary team in the development of an in situ simulation program, (2) Start with aims and objectives, (3) Foster attendance and buy in by making it convenient for people to attend, (4) Celebrate your successes through interdepartmental communication, and (5) Recruit individuals with expertise in simulation based education.
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