Home Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
In-situ simulation: educational tool and a clinical system test
DOI:10.54531/SJYP8324, Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A33-A34
Article Type: Editorial, Article History





Simulation-based clinical systems testing (SbCST) is a process that allows clinicians and hospital stakeholders to evaluate work carried out in new environments. Unlike work-as-imagined, SbCST takes into account the complex interactions resulting from human performance limitations [1]. These factors can result in errors that may even lead to patient harm [2]. Therefore, we used SbCST to evaluate a newly built children’s emergency department with the aim of identifying latent errors and implementing changes to minimise the risk of their occurrence, whilst also ensuring that the simulation experience was an independently valuable educational opportunity.


Scenarios were created according to two criteria. Firstly, that they tested at least one specific environmental issue and secondly, that they focused on topics that the paediatric and Accident and Emergency departments felt would be educationally valuable to the participants. Once created, these scenarios were then carried out as un-announced in-situ simulations during the first 8-weeks of departmental opening. The participants were instructed to treat the scenarios as real, including the manner in which they called for help. Any equipment required came from the department and if single use, it was exchanged for training equipment. The participants then undertook a hot debriefing before feedback was gathered about both the educational value of the scenarios as well as any issues identified within the new department.


In total there were 38 multidisciplinary participants including nurses, operating department practitioners, and doctors from 6 different specialties. The feedback from the sessions was positive with an average ranking of >4 out of 5 in 8 out of the 9 measured domains, including; realism, enhancement of knowledge, and usefulness of in-situ simulation in a new environment. We also identified greater than 50 problems spanning all 5 of the categories from the ‘SHEEP’ model [3]. Approximately 60% of issues were resolved within the 8 weeks, whilst the remaining are on the risk register and awaiting review at a stakeholder level.


In-situ simulation is an excellent mechanism for carrying out clinical systems testing of new environments due to the fact that it simulates realistic events which are prone to the same errors as the real events, without the risk of patient harm. Once the source of an error is exposed the debriefing can help to identify methods to minimise the risk of future reoccurrences. At the same time, with appropriate planning, the scenarios can also provide an opportunity to deliver multidisciplinary training.


1. Colman N, Doughty C, Arnold J, Stone K, Reid J, Dalpiaz A, Hebbar KB. Simulation-based clinical systems testing for healthcare spaces: from intake through implementation. Advances in Simulation. 2019;4(1):1–9.

2. Reason J. Human error: models and management. Br Med J. 2000;320:768–770.

3. Rosenorn-Lanng D. Human factors in healthcare: level one. Oxford: Oxford university press. 2014.