Healthcare Simulation Professionals Of Texas (SPOT) Meet in Fort Worth To Support Each Other

In 2014 a group of dedicated simulation champions came together to create SPOT, aka the Simulation Professionals Of Texas, to offer collaboration amongst simulation facilities and personnel in the state. Today was SPOTs quarterly meeting at Texas Wesleyan University where over 75 professionals came together from the across the big state. Each quarterly event is sponsored by a different vendor with today’s lunch sponsored by B-Line Medical, unique t-shirts from Level 3 Healthcare, and additional bag stuffers from Avkin, CAE Healthcare, EMS, and Elsevier. Because the group continues to grow in members, the leadership recently formed committees to better represent attendee needs.

Soohyun “Stone” Kim MSN, RN, CHSE and Jeannette Blankenship MSN, RN of UTA provided the opening address on the INACSL Standards of Best Practice. INACSL stands for the “International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning” and has been recognized by the industry as the “keeper of the standards”, which are core recommendations and community recognized requirements to successfully utilize healthcare simulation methodologies. 30% of the attendees had not heard about the Standards so the need for the presentation was clear!

The INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation are living documents that communicate the best practices on how to design, conduct, and evaluate simulation activities. The need for best practices standards for simulation began as a round table discussion by the INACSL Board of Directors (BOD) in 2009 (Decker, 2009). Past INACSL Valerie M. Howard, EdD, MSN, RN says of the Standards:


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Since the release of the first set of Standards, many health care and academic institutions have adopted the INACSL Standards as a core foundation to be used when implementing simulation-based educational modalities. They have been cited in hundreds of publications and presented to simulation educators both nationally and internationally. The use of the Standards in research and funding proposals demonstrates the use of the most current evidence when designing and implementing simulation experiences. The Standards have provided the foundation for new simulation programs and have clarified the direction for more advanced programs. Although we are celebrating the momentous achievement of publishing the revised Standards and guidelines, the INACSL board of directors recognizes that the work continues, and our Standards committee will continue to work diligently to collect and collate the most current evidence related to the use of simulation for education, training, and evaluation. As new information arises, the committee will share these findings with the Standards advisory board and INACSL board of directors in order to shape the direction for the future. And, as always, we welcome our INACSL members’ input during each step in this journey. 

Learn more and download the Standards of Best Practice for Clinical Simulation from the INACSL website!

Buying Guide: A Decision Matrix For Capital Healthcare Simulation Equipment Purchases

Karen Meadows, BBA, BSN, RN, CHSE Manager of Simulation Operations at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine provided a course on “Right on the Money: Using a Decision Matrix to Bring Clarity to Purchase Decisions”. Karen’s group is right in the thick of purchasing capital equipment for their new center, which is not even open yet!


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Initial strategies include getting 3 bids and going with the cheapest, experience or intuition, customer reviews, demonstrations, or bid process. She also reminded us of typical procurement problems procrastination, emotional decision making, team decision making, or HIPPO: Highest paid person’s opinion prevents fact-based decision making. We’ve seen head doctors dictate purchase decisions against an entire committee who recommended otherwise for months, only finally to change their mind after a random visit from the doctor’s colleague from residency who recommended against their decision. Saved only by a lucky visit!

She then suggested we consider the Decision Matrix tool, to help you decide between several options when taking many factors into account, with an example template. The columns of criteria with rated sub columns match along product brands on each row — so that weighted needs can be viewed against general scores — especially when the stakes are high! For example when looking at A/V systems, she judged 3 brands against quality of cameras, battery life, streaming and recording abilities, integrating with manikin vitals, ease of use, warranty and support, and finally cost — with ease of use being weighted the heaviest importance.

She also recommended holding a “mini vendor expo” to review all the possible vendor products and services with the matrix tool, after identifying stakeholder needs, and finally doing a comprehensive review of the process to make sure internal and external influences are accounted for. She also shared the following resources:

Other sessions throughout the regional SPOT event included:

  • Tech Crew: Behind the Scenes of Healthcare Simulation Centers
  • B-Line Medical Lunch Presentation (On what services they offer and how to select the best places for camera placement)
  • SSH Accreditation: Structure for Simulation Programs
  • Integration of High-Fidelity Simulation Into an ADN Capture Course
  • Bringing the Hospital to SIM: An Eight Hour IPS Simulation Scenario

SimGHOSTS representatives were also on hand to share more about the 8th annual USA event taking place at the brand new Center University of Tennessee Health Science Center this July 31st-August 3rd. Learn more on the SimGHOSTS.org website.

Are you in or near Texas and interested in attending the next regional SPOT event?

Contact the SPOTS Team to Learn More Today!


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