Editor in Chief Judith Reiss reports from the Human Patient Simulation Network (HPSN) event which took place at the end of April.

HPSN 2014 was held in Sarasota, Florida, which gave the participants of the conference the opportunity to visit the simulator plant and meet the employees where the mannequins are developed.

The conference theme was ‘The Simulation Sandbox’. It was chosen because former conference participants requested more time to network, interact with instructors and teachers and learn the nuts and bolts of the simulations and the exercises.

Dr. Robert Amyot, president of CAE Healthcare opened HPSN by telling his story. He was a cardiologist practicing in a university teaching hospital in Montreal when a patient was brought to the lab for a test. She had a life threatening heart condition and the test was high risk but he was an expert and had done 1000s of these tests. When he did the test she died on the table. She was rushed to surgery and is fine. The experience, however, led him to develop the Vimedix Ultrasound Simulator because he could no longer train students by the old method of ‘see one, do one, teach one’.

After three years of development when they started commercial production of the simulator, CAE came knocking. They bought his company and he became part of CAE Healthcare. He said HPSN was a forum to improve patient safety. He noted that CAE Healthcare was recognized for their simulators but had sold more cameras than simulators.

The company introduced a new product at the conference which he likened to an aviation black box on steroids. The product, Replay, is a web-based streamlined audio visual system to support debriefing for clinical encounters. Replay is a room with an integrated memory that records continuously in HD. It can be used as a teaching tool, for debriefing, for learning and practice.

Dr. JoDee Anderson is an Associate Professor and the Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Oregon Health & Science University. She gave the keynote address and talked about the importance of team training. She discussed her experiences in neo natal resuscitation and the importance of identifying performance gaps. In their simulation development they identify the problem, perform a needs assessment, and choose the correct educational strategy to achieve their goals. She said you have to evaluate students and instructors to make sure you can achieve learning outcomes. She emphasized that leadership of a team requires collaboration and listening skills and taking cues from the babies you are treating.

They use simulation in their training to discover what is causing errors and then go through the process to eliminate the errors and teach students to make good decisions through guided deliberate practice.

HPSN had many workshops for hands-on learning and many sessions covering how-to training and step by step presentations on successful programs.

Amar Patel from WakeMed, conducted a session on the nuts and bolts of producing an ROI for your simulation center. He laid out step by step metrics that needed to be produced and how you showed the value.

Lori Lioce talked about their nurse practitioner resident program and went through the steps they took in developing the program, the role of each instructor and the materials covered.

The Ohio State team of Stephanie Justice and Lisa Rohrig showed how they developed the inter professional team training simulation for their nursing school curricula to meet the nursing school requirements.

Many other sessions were conducted covering in situ, debriefing, identifying safety threats, collaborative care and changing the healthcare culture.

The 2014 conference offered more technical training courses, more one on one opportunities to interact with CAE educators, technicians and engineers and more practical tutorial sessions than at past HPSNs.