International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research & Education (INSPIRE)

The International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Research, Innovation and Education (INSPIRE) is a collaborative group of healthcare professionals whose goal is to improve the lives of children through healthcare simulation. Together, medical simulation experts, clinicians, educators, investigators, statisticians, human factors researchers and psychologists work to serve as a global community that catalyzes discoveries and promotes collaboration in simulation-based research, scholarship and innovation.

INSPIRE was established in 2011 and built loosely around institutions and researchers who are currently collaborating on multi-center simulation research, as well as those who have completed and/or are awaiting new projects to join. Although INSPIRE was designed to be pediatric, the organization now has members from multiple clinical disciplines, including internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics-gynecology, psychiatry and anesthesiology. Engagement with this group may prove useful for those with research questions relevant to children’s health. Since INSPIRE is a research and project collaborative across the world, there are no fee structures for joining.

At the organization’s core, all members strive to create a collaborative environment with open-sharing of ideas and accessibility between members while breaking down silos. INSPIRE welcomes all novice, intermediate and expert researchers and educators within the field of healthcare simulation to join the organization’s network.

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Group members are united in their desire to improve performance, foster innovation and reduce errors in patient care via rigorous pediatric simulation-based research using all types of simulation tools (computer screen-based simulators, task trainers, human patient simulators, virtual reality, hybrid devices and standardized patients).

Many INSPIRE members are willing to and have mentored others across the world, as membership is international (North America, Europe, Middle East and Australia) and includes 112 institutions. INSPIRE’s executive committee reviews and approves proposals, and develops policies and procedures for the network. Founding INSPIRE executive committee and current advisors consisted of the following 10 healthcare simulation experts from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom:

  • Adam Cheng MD, Co-Chair INSPIRE, Alberta Children’s Hospital
  • Marc Auerbach MD, MSc, Co-Chair INSPIRE, Yale University
  • David Kessler MD, MSc, Research Chair INSPIRE, Columbia University
  • Ralph Mackinnon MD, International Chair INSPIRE, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • Todd Chang MD, Technology Chair INSPIRE, Children’s Hospital of LA
  • Jordan Duval-Arnould, Technology Chair INSPIRE, Johns Hopkins University
  • Vinay Nadkarni MD, MOC Chair INSPIRE, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Elizabeth Hunt MD, PhD, Senior Co-Chair INSPIRE, Johns Hopkins University
  • Martin Pusic MD, PhD, Senior Co-Chair INSPIRE, New York University School of Medicine
  • Nicola Peiris, BSc, Network Manager INSPIRE, Alberta Children’s Hospital

Further, an external Network Advisory Board provides counsel on study conduct and publications. INSPIRE has a consultative submission process (to obtain consultation to inform a submission) as well as a new project submission process. INSPIRE proposals with external support are expected to allocate 0.1 FTE for administrative support of INSPIRE.

INSPIRE believes in transparency, trust, respect and high standards for quality across all organizational endeavors, while encouraging innovation through taking risks and challenging the status quo. The network aims to improve the delivery of medical care to acutely ill children by answering important research questions pertaining to resuscitation, technical skills, behavioral skills, debriefing and simulation-based education as well. Research within INSPIRE or affiliated with INSPIRE encompasses one of two types of simulation-based research described in the organization’s article in Pediatrics (Training and Assessment vs. Healthcare Innovations), which is divided into seven full categories.

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INSPIRE’s Growth as a Simulation Organization

Over the years, INSPIRE has taken on a number of collaborations and initiatives to further improve pediatric care through clinical simulation. In 2014, INSPIRE launched a collaborative agreement with the International Simulation Data Registry (ISDR). The ISDR collects and archives outcomes data from Cardiac Arrest, Malignant Hyperthermia, and Difficult Airway simulations for benchmarking, quality improvement and research purposes.

INSPIRE investigators have 15 studies planned, ongoing or completed in areas including debriefing methods, teamwork and simulation instruction in procedural and psychomotor skills, as well as simulation studies of clinical innovations. For example, the improving pediatric acute care through simulation (IMPACTS) study has developed and validated cases to study care of simulated infants by different emergency department teams.

In March 2019 INSPIRE officially adopted the Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics. The Healthcare Simulationist Code of Ethics was formulated by a global working group to support the quality and ethical practice of healthcare simulation around the world. The six aspirational values described in the Code of Ethics are integrity, transparency, mutual respect, professionalism, accountability and results orientation.

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Additionally, each year the network co-hosts the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)-INSPIRE Pediatric Simulation Fellowship Program. The goal of this program is to build future leaders in pediatric simulation across the world. INSPIRE and IPSS are striving to bring the knowledge and skills organization members have gained to the widest possible audience. This is why they created this fellowship to support investigators in their healthcare simulation career, exposing them to simulation related experiences and mentorship to broaden horizons, and promote excellence in education and investigative simulation-based research. Both organizations encourage all members to spread the word to fellow colleagues to apply to take part in this enriching program.

In the past, INSPIRE and IPSS have also co-hosted a one-day research accelerator in Toronto in May 2019. This innovative research summit brought together thought leaders from diverse academic, industry and technologic organizations throughout the world. The summit aimed to bring together healthcare simulation scientists with industry and other stakeholder partners to brainstorm ways in which the field can accelerate science and progress in saving pediatric lives from cardiac arrest. Attendees heard from leaders who addressed the question: “How do we save more pediatric lives from cardiac arrest around the world by accelerating discoveries in these various areas through healthcare simulation science?”

The work of INSPIRE continues to grow as the organization comes to offer more opportunities for simulation educators and administrators to present research and continue to expand funding awards. Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, INSPIRE continued to grow in 2020 with new virtual offerings and ongoing research awards.The organization’s infrastructure and logistical support comes from funds from the Society for Simulation in Health Care, the International Pediatric Simulation Society, RBaby Foundation & the Laerdal Foundation. Learn more on the International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Research, Innovation and Education (INSPIRE) website or read the articles below.

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