January 19, 2021By Dr. Kim Baily

IMSH 2021 Healthcare Simulation Conference Opens Virtually

The International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare opened for the first official day of activities on Tuesday, January 19, as part of the 2021 virtual simulation conference entitled “IMSH Delivers: Bringing Learning to Life.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IMSH Board of Directors chose to shift the scientific conference that explores the latest innovations and best practices in healthcare simulation to a video collection platform this year. Access to all presentations will last until March 31, 2021 and is free to members (without CEUs).

Leading the opening session, Education Management Solutions CEO, Anurag Singh, welcomed over 200 simulationists from around the globe to the first live session of the conference. This year’s event offers a variety of activities from over 350 presenters including live educational sessions, prerecorded sessions, lecture series, research abstracts, SimVentors demonstrations, and technical proceedings. In addition, over 25 special interest groups are scheduled to meet throughout the conference. Forty-three vendors and sponsors will present their products in a virtual industry hall where participants can meet one on one with vendors at prearranged times.

Following Singh,  presentations were given by current and outgoing president Bob Armstrong, who reviewed the society’s challenges during the past year, and by the new president Juli Maxworthy, who outlined plans for the upcoming year. Maxworthy is a nurse executive and educator who began her career as an open heart and trauma nurse. She then shifted her focus to quality, risk management and simulation. In 2014, Maxworthy completed editing a textbook for SSH entitled “Defining Excellence in Healthcare Simulation.” In 2017, she was inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows for the Society. Maxworthy is currently an associate professor at the University of San Francisco.


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Following the opening information session, 17 other sessions were scheduled for the remainder of the opening day. Every session was recorded and and will be made available to participants to view at any time. Sessions included live educational courses, Simventors presentations and technology proceedings among others and included a wide range of topics including in situ simulation, telesimulation, escape rooms, and virtual reality scenario design.

For those torn between two or three sessions occurring simultaneously during the live portion of the event, the IMSH 2021 virtual conference has one huge advantage in that attendees can view any and all sessions since they are all being recorded. With the wide array of topics and sessions, there are plenty of interesting topics to choose from!

Here below are some of the most recent session updates:

Administering Tele-OSCE Standardized Patient Encounters Amidst a Global Pandemic

This presentation, given by Samantha Syms, MS, CHSE, and Saily Gutierrez, reviewed the telehealth protocol for Standardized Patients (SPs) at the Gordon Simulation Center at the University of Miami. Keys to successful online interactions between SPs and learners were identified. Standardized patients were required to register their electronic device through google forms, provide the name of their internet provider and conduct a speed test to ensure smooth interactions.

In addition, SPs were instructed to dress casually, keep their phones on mute but close by in case cues were sent from clinical simulation educators. SPs were required to keep their backgrounds neat and professional, and tips were provided about setting up camera angles and audio for the interaction. Two staff were found to be more effective, with one staff member assigned to the host rooms and one for the learners.

Detailed flow sheets were developed to keep learners and SP moving through their interactions at predesignated times. The careful timing kept the experience the same for all learners, and SPs knew what to expect. Zoom was found to be the most effective platform to manage the activities. There were variations in the flowsheets depending on whether the OSCE was formative or high stakes.

Going Virtual: A Pediatric Hospital-Based Simulation Center Experience with Distance Simulation

Like many sim centers, Seattle Children’s Hospital had a well developed in situ healthcare simulation program which delivered an average of 350 simulations per year and which the COVID-19 pandemic all but eliminated. The simulationists found themselves seeking a distance format for sim without any additional budget (Peterson, J and Wiley-Godoi, C).

They completed an extensive review of available products and were able to develop standardized intake, planning, execution, and evaluation processes for virtual simulation. Standardized scenario planning worksheets, sim operations checklists and facilitator and participant information sheets were created. Two groups, new Nursing grads and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellows were selected for pilot studies. Laerdal LLEAP and Zoom were found to be the most effective delivery method.

RN residents rated the learning experiences as follows: meeting learning objectives (4.52/5 n= 23), structured debriefing in an organized way (6.74/7 n= 23) and overall facilitator effectiveness (6.61/7 n = 23). The facility concluded that virtual sim offers a good alternative to in situ sim although, the facility has started to offer in-person sim for mission-critical issues.

Simulation Must Go On! Online to Medical Students as a Learning Strategy During Social Isolation of COVID-19 Pandemic



This presentation (Goes Coelho, R.) focused research centered around fourth-year medical students in an emergency medicine rotation in Rio De Janerio, Brazel. The study involved 67 medical students, 12 professors and 28 peer tutors (senior students) participating in 32 simulations based on 14 different cases. The scenarios were offered twice a day, four days a week over five weeks. Groups of two to five learners participated in 15 to 20-minute scenarios followed by a 40-minute debriefing. Students volunteered to participate in the scenarios, and although they were not allowed to repeat scenarios, many students signed up for multiple cases.

Learners were rated as adequate or inadequate on a standardized checklist divided into four sections: initial procedures, diagnosis, treatment, and behavioral. All scenarios had to be translated into Brazilian Portuguese. Peer tutors participated in the scenarios and could offer prompts while the debrief was conducted by the professors. Evaluations revealed that the learners felt comfortable during the scenarios, felt the simulation were realistic, the feedback from the healthcare simulation scenario supported their learning and the peer tutors added to the value of the learning experience. Students volunteered to participate in the scenarios, and although they were not allowed to repeat scenarios, many students signed up for multiple cases. Worth noting, the author of this very interesting report was presented by one of the peer tutors, a sixth-year medical student.

Additional Upcoming Sessions Topics Include: 

  • #SimulationSpotlight: Illuminating You and Your Simulation Center through Social Media
  • “Simtending”: A Novel Model for Simulating the Attending Role in Senior Residents
  • Accessible VR Design: Creating Immersive Educational Content With 360-Degree Video
  • Advanced Practice Providers in Simulation Practice and Education
  • Aggressive Patient In Situ Program for System Improvement & Needs Assessment
  • Applying the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation during COVID-19
  • Being a Hybrid for a Day; Phenomenological Analysis of Simulated Patient’s Experience.
  • Blended Learning Was Integrated into the Clinical Skills of Nurses
  • Bringing Sim to Life Lecture, featuring Christine Park, MD, FSSH. To Infinity and Beyond: Why Aspiration Matters in Healthcare Simulation Practice
  • Budget Friendly Moulage: Low-cost Alternatives to Increase Realism
  • Checklist Approach to Simulation Problem Solving: Anticipate, Act, Amend
  • Converting to Virtual Education: Rapid-Cycle Deliberate Practice for Communication Education
  • COVID-19: Rapid Deployment of In Situ Simulation for Caregiver Safety
  • Leveraging Digital Platforms to Deliver Large-Scale Interprofessional Education
  • Minimal Contact Simulation: Mini Mental Rehearsals During a Pandemic
  • Obstetric Simulation Training and Teamwork (OB-STaT): Immediate Impact on Knowledge, Teamwork and Adherence to Hemorrhage Protocols
  • Pediatric Disaster Simulation and Parents with a Physical Disability
  • Self-debriefing After Virtual Simulation: Measuring Students’ Depth of Reflection
  • Use of Simulation to Design a Procedure and Train a Dedicated Airway “SWAT” Team for COVID-19 Intubation
  • ZOOM Out: A Virtual OSCE Experience

Future IMSH dates:

  • January 15-19, 2022 Los Angeles, CA
  • January 21-25, 2023 Orlando, FL
  • January 20-24, 2024 San Diego, CA

Today’s article was guest authored by Kim Baily PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, Simulation Coordinator for Los Angeles Harbor College. Over the past 15 years Kim has developed and implemented several college simulation programs and currently chairs the Southern California Simulation Collaborative. Have a story to share with the global healthcare simulation community? Submit your simulation news and resources here!

Learn More About IMSH 2021


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