Simulation and Quality in Clinical Education

Open Medicine Journal 30 Sept 2017 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874220301704010026



Simulation-based education (SBE) has become commonplace in healthcare education within hospitals, higher education institutions, the private healthcare sector, and private education providers. The standards and quality of delivery vary across the UK [1], leading to differing degrees of learning for healthcare professionals. This variance in standards makes research into the impact of SBE on the end user (the patient) difficult to measure.


The delivery of SBE needs to be of a high standard if learning via this pedagogy is to be maximised and benefits to patients are to be accurately assessed. This article aims to summarise the importance of quality within clinical SBE and how it can be achieved and maintained to produce a measurable impact on patient care. The current progress of the implementation of UK national standards for SBE is included to highlight the need for standardisation and guidance to support simulation centres and individuals to benchmark practice and work towards accreditation through quality measurement and monitoring processes. Suggestions are made on how such standards will affect the future of SBE and all those involved.


There is a clear need for the development of national standards for SBE delivery and for a stepped approach [i.e. minimum, intermediate, and advanced standards] depending on the size, capacity, and frequency of SBE education delivery. Considerable financial outlay will be required to monitor standards effectively. The enhanced use of current and future technologies should be considered with regards to monitoring standards as well as data collection for future research opportunities.

Keywords: Simulation, Quality improvement, Educational standards, Patient safety, Diagnostic reasoning, SBE activity.
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