Simulation: Using Quality Improvement to Increase Patient Safety

Simulation-based Education (SBE) is a wonderful teaching and learning application to increase patient safety, but did you know that it can also be used for quality improvement activities as well?
So, what’s the big deal with quality improvement and why does it matter? Quality improvement (QI) is used in many industries to decrease variation and there is a huge focus on standardization. This includes documentation and educational sessions to ensure that everyone is following the same process and approaching situations in the same manner. In previous posts, we mentioned the importance of having certain elements when designing an immersive scenario (feel free to take a look at the post What’s the Plan: The Importance of Design). This is a standardized approach that allows the instructor to design a plan that is consistent.
Being consistent is a key feature in quality improvement activities. If there are several different approaches being used, there is a potential not only for error, but also contributes to waste such as materials, time, etc. Demonstrating a consistent approach to designing a SBE activity helps ensure that clear learning objectives are being met, which helps the learner demonstrate competency and safe patient care. For example, when learning about how to obtain a blood pressure or auscultate heart and lung sounds, there is a clear and distinct order in how to perform the assessments. If healthcare professional #1 decides to talk while listening to heart and lung sounds, it may take longer to obtain clinical findings and they may be inaccurate. If healthcare professional #2 decides to obtain clinical information without the proper equipment, there will be challenges in understanding the competency of professional #2. Of course, these are hypothetical examples of variance to approaching patient care.
So, how do we decrease variance and improve quality improvement? Try using a checklist with your individual and team care. What’s working and what is the team great at? Are there some items that you would like to see improvement on? What are they and how will you measure success?
There are many opportunities to use QI activities to improve patient safety. Whether through implementing them in a SBE experience or in real-time, the benefits to the patient are positive. And, that’s who this is for.
Have an outstanding week,
P.S. If you like our content, feel free to subscribe. It’s free, and content is delivered straight to your inbox. Oh, and we’re not the spammy type.
About the Author: Matthew Jubelius wants to change the future of people development, education, and training. He has championed the design, implementation, and evaluation of simulation-based education and training programs, including quality improvement measures for post-secondary institutions, private industry, and the federal government. Matthew can be reached through

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s