When talking about simulation, probably for most of us the first thing coming to mind is education –for a good reason, of course. Simulation is an educational method. Education, however, does not happen in a vacuum. It is, and this applies even more to the healthcare field, a highly regulated environment, where changes are usually slow and imply complex procedures. 

Thus, advancing and changing the field can be a very tedious task if taken on by an individual institution or company. Even scientific societies, by themselves, might have a hard time to create a strong lobby advocating for such changes. 

This is where the idea of common action stems from – commonly identifying the biggest challenges, the best ways to overcome them and in fact also the best ways to expand the application of experiential learning, to ultimately improve patient safety. This cooperation idea stand at the basis of the creation of GNSH, the Global Network for Simulation in Healthcare. GNSH is, as stated in their concordat [1], “A global network of organizations, committed to enhancing patient safety and quality of healthcare by promoting the appropriate use of simulation through collaboration, advocacy and support.” 

During the pandemic, GNSH meetings were held virtually. This kept the spark alive and the organisation running. The first post-pandemic in-person meeting was held in Dubai at the MBRU, the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. The main topic discussed was the global shortage in healthcare workers and its potential impact on patient safety, as well as possible mitigation strategies. Simulation based education can play a relevant role in this, by both allowing healthcare learners and workers to achieve a basic experience level by best using available resources and by making the workplace in healthcare itself more attractive.  

It is this type of collaboration between different entities that can help a lot in advancing the field of simulation based education. Erasmus+ programmes offer the same opportunities on an European scale, which certainly contributes to their effectiveness in delivering education. The SAFETY project, based as it is on a collaboration between academia and industry, is a very good example of what can be achieved in a collaborative environment – collaboration is the basis to making your voice heard.

Written by LMU team, Munich.

 

[1] https://www.gnsh.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/the_gnsh_concordat_v6.pdf, accessed on 08.12.2023