February Presidential Message > The Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Hello, SSH members!

As your President, I wanted to take a moment to tell you what a great year we have planned and how important your membership means in a Society that now proudly consists of more than 4,000 members from around the world. (When I attended my first IMSH meeting in 2006, there were 500 that attended the conference).  This is a great time to be a simulationist because, as our industry is growing rapidly, the profession is emerging. 

Understanding that evolution, I’m excited to share with you several upcoming conferences of interest.  Mark your calendars for The Women in Leadership conference on April 6 in Dallas, Texas – a joint effort between SSH, INACSL and ASPE.  Also, SimOps is poised to soar in 2019 – July 19-20 in East Virginia.  And, the 20th anniversary of IMSH will be celebrated in San Diego in January 2020.

Speaking of IMSH, it was exciting to see the new Code of Ethics for simulation shared with everyone in San Antonio.  This effort, led by Christine Park, was the collaboration of over 40 individuals from around the world and will be adopted in several languages.  Please feel free to download your copy from the website and begin utilizing the code in your program. Likewise, the Simulation Dictionary has been translated into five languages and is available for your use as well.  This is an example of increasing the depth and breadth and type of our education offerings in native language content.

As we move forward with operationalizing our strategic plan, I hope to learn from all of you and continue to enhance the products and services SSH offers.  I plan on learning from our affiliates around the world, visiting simulation centers and attending conferences this year, and will bring back what I have learned to the board of directors and you, our members. 

This is crucial as SSH continues to influence the simulation industry both domestic and abroad. 

The SSH strategic plan has four pillars:  identity, sustainability, value and leadership.  Our strategic priorities include infrastructure, advocacy, education, the future, certification/accreditation, research and advancing simulation globally.  We currently have 30 affiliate simulation societies around the world, and SSH will continue work with them to promote the use of simulation in countries around the world where it is underutilized today. 

There are some fabulous examples of this work in countries such as India and Africa.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of health care and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum. Over 130 million adverse events occur each year in hospitals and low-and-middle-income countries contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually due to unsafe care.

The report, “Crossing the Global Quality Chasm”, built on the work of the Institute of Medicine report of 2001, calls attention to the gaps in health care quality that still remain globally and suggests approaches to bridge those gaps.  Simulation education can help our health care teams prevent harm to patients beginning with our students and moving towards our staff. Simulation can guarantee a clinical experience and allow our learners to make errors in a safe environment, learn from the experience and apply what they have learned to actual practice. 

As advocates of simulation, we need to continue to work on our “story” as we spread the word to key stakeholders in and outside of our organizations.  The value proposition and return on investment is a conversation that will be ongoing until simulation is accepted as part of the overall educational plan and budget. 

It is up to all of us to advocate for simulation at the local, regional, state and national level. 

I plan on meeting with legislators and key stakeholders this year as well as completing podcasts on the topic of the value of simulation education.

I’m hopeful that you will help continue to spread that message with me.

Please follow me on Twitter at @ktwaxman and connect with me on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ktwaxman/

2019-20 SSH President

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