December 20, 2023By Erin Carn Bennett

How to Complete Healthcare Simulation Program Annual Reviews

Reviewing a healthcare simulation program annually can create massive improvements in performance outcomes. While the end of the year can be a time that healthcare simulation team members are exhausted, providing dedicated space and time for a reflective simulation program review can have massive long term benefits to staff retention, program outcomes, cost savings, and institutional success. This article by Erin Carn-Bennett, MSN, RN, will explore the possibility of a wrap up process at the end of the year for healthcare simulation programs and the potentiality for exponential growth in the process. The end of the year can be a great opportunity to reflect on the year that has been prior to advancement into the next year.

Utilization of Data Captured to Advance Healthcare Simulation Programs on Review

Data and reports to measure throughputs of a clinical simulation program can be incredibly powerful. Throughput and productivity reports can be on a monthly, quarter or annual basis, such as explained in How to Increase Clinical Simulation Program Visibility.Ensure that productivity reports capture often not considered data such as latent safety threats identified in clinical simulation to improve organizational and patient safety. Other topics to include other than in person clinical simulation reports for the year can include research projects and education that staff have attended to extend their knowledge base.

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Productivity reports can be incredibly useful to review what healthcare simulation has been delivered throughout the year. The process of reflection of what has actually been delivered versus what was expected can be an incredibly powerful process. Often there has been much growth and expansion which in day to day running of the clinical simulation program may not have been recognized. Reflection prior to plans of what is next is incredibly powerful and is a nice way to wrap up the end of the year as a clinical simulation program. Consider in the process what may have been missed in the clinical simulation delivery for the year and use this information to guide the process to plan next year of clinical simulation.

Learn from Mistakes and Know They Are Where the Most Powerful Changes Can Occur

Mistakes are actually a great occurrence and they assist all team members in the process to learn. The process to learn from mistakes by understanding why they have occurred and then consider what to adapt next time based on the learnings is powerful but can be risky without the right team culture and management. As a team there is importance in the emphasis of normalization around mistakes and the encouragement to share mistakes. When a team has a high level of psychological safety, the term is explicitly stated that the process to speak up without fear of reprimand is welcomed and encouraged. This sounds easy in theory however to live to these values truly is a process that needs constant revisitation and work to maintain as a team.

Request Feedback Broadly and Utilize the Feedback to Make Adaptations and Grow

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The process to request feedback broadly and is a systemic manner will assist in the process to grow clinical simulation programs in a learner centric and learner driven experience. This process can be undertaken via incorporation of collation of feedback at the end of as much clinical simulation as possible but particularly for courses an hour or longer. Feedback can be requested through a number of different online survey options or also through written feedback. QR codes can be placed into slide decks for short cuts to feedback forms after clinical simulation educational experiences.

Create a Systematic Process to Report and Review Each Year

Make a calendar invite that reoccurs for each year that allows the review process of the year to be able to take place and then create a systematic process around this. This could include reviews of productivity reports from over the course of the year or review of courses delivered from sources such as team calendars. Create or find data sources and consider an annual report to share amongst the healthcare simulation program team. Consider a formalized meeting to share the results from the year that has been and to invite feedback and to share stories from the year that has been within the clinical simulation program. This systematic process can assist with staff feeling more valued and allow space for their own reflections to be heard in a team forum.

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Consider Mentorship to Grow Colleagues in Their Clinical Simulation Role

In the process of reviewing the clinical simulation program don’t forget to acknowledge how faculty have developed over the year that has been. Reflections should not stop at the review of the clinical simulation program but also consider the inclusion of growth of the individuals within the clinical simulation program. Mentorship and guidance can be incredibly powerful for development of clinical simulation program team members. Consideration of formalized education around either mentorship, coaching or professional supervision for management can be useful to maximize the experience of this process to clinical simulation program team members. Consider reading:

Don’t Forget to Celebrate the Clinical Simulation Program and Also Individuals

Celebrate the clinical simulation program team with a social gathering to celebrate the end of the year festivities and all that has been achieved as a program. Consider nomination of team members to any relevant internal or external awards on offer to celebrate any successes from the year that has been. End the year on a positive note and extend hopefulness and excitement for next year that is approaching. Ensure that staff feel valued for the work that has been achieved over the course of the year. This will increase the likeness of staff retention, program growth and a more dynamic clinical simulation program.

This article has explored the wrap up of a clinical simulation program at the end of a year. There are systematic processes that can be put into place to review clinical simulation programs productivity from over the course of the year. There have been a number of examples given such as annual reports, participant feedback processes and provision of mentorship in some form to team members for their own personal growth on reflection of the year that has been. The end of the year can be a powerful time for reflection and growth of a clinical simulation program.

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