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From the Int'l Pediatric Simulation Symposia & Workshop 2013: Pt. 1

By Lance Baily, founder and editor.

Last month HealthStream sponsored my attendance to the 5th Annual International Pediatric Simulation Symposia and Workshops Conference or IPSSW. This specialized simulation meeting took place in the heart of New York City on 103rd st across from Central Park at the historic New York Academy of Medicine. Watch the video and read below for Part 1 of my event coverage below.

Special thanks to HealthStream for sponsoring this video production in an effort to expand the support for pediatric and other healthcare simulation champions around the world. With the goal of accelerating the adoption of simulation in the healthcare industry, HealthStream joined forces with Laerdal Medical in June of 2010 to form a joint-partnership called SimVentures to produce products like SimCenter– which enable Simulation Programs to efficiently administer their staff, learners, outcomes, labs and equipment. Stay tuned for Part 2 of my IPSSW Coverage to learn more about HealthStream and SimManager.

At IPSSW 2013 Over 450 pediatric simulation champions from more than 32 countries joined together for the sold-out three day event. The meeting had a very multidisciplinary feel with over 40% of the participants suggesting a nursing or allied health background. This was the first year IPSSW has taken place in the USA having previously operated around Europe.

After the recent horrific Boston bombings the trauma-based pediatric simulation demonstration rang close to home. The interdisciplinary scenario brought together professionals from a multitude of countries to quickly point out that this was indeed an internationally represented meeting.

Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT and director of the media lab’s personal robots department provided an insightful keynote on the social robots in pediatric healthcare. Cynthia reminded us that 85% of chronic diseases can be affected by behavior, and then demonstrated how robots can play an important role for influencing humans in social engagements. With a research project addressing weight management, Cynthia and her team created a study to learn if robots could hold the attention of those on a diet longer than normal computer screens or pen and paper. Not surprisingly, the energetic feedback, dynamic communication, and positive politeness of the robot provided for much longer participant engagements. People even began to name their robots and dress them up! Cynthia believes that such studies showcase the opportunity for robots to become ‘social lubricants’ providing nonjudgmental and supportive feedback to therapeutic human interventions. 

This Keynote address was the first of several sessions presented by speakers with backgrounds outside of healthcare. It was entirely refreshing to attend a simulation conference with experts from other fields helping to broaden our communities understanding of the current and future educational opportunities. 

Later that afternoon I had a chance to talk with Dr. David Grant, recently appointed President of IPSS, or International Pediatric Simulation Society, which runs IPSSW. David explained that “Although there are simulation societies in the US and other parts of the world, what our pediatric simulation colleagues found was that their membership and organizations are so much about adult practice, and so we felt that there were very few elements that dealt specifically with our pediatric needs.”

I agreed with Dr. Grant that because cases of childhood illness or trauma were rare in pediatric education – simulation could really fill the gap of learning opportunities. David added “Yes so it’s this idea of critical-mass volume, and so the high-risk low volume events is exactly what a lot of our simulation programs evolved around. When I trained, it was acceptable for people to learn on patients, and so through simulation education (and changes in medical education and nursing practices and training), we are trying to move that learning curve and expertise further away from the patient so that we have those learning experiences in a simulated patient environment rather than a clinical patient.

Breakout sessions occurred through the day and mostly consisted of 20-minute presentations covering several similar topics. In one session, Dr. David Kessler from New York Presbyterian shared how an infant lp just-in-time simulation training program that had quickly doubled success rates in his center, proved more difficult to expand and replicate to 35 more hospitals, siting a lack of commitment by administrators to follow through correctly. This furthers my belief that simulation is mostly held back by the lack of passionate operational staff behind it.

 

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