Interview with ASPiH President Dr. Bryn Baxendale

aspih president

Dr. Bryn Baxendale, ASPiH President

While attending the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare’s 2013 Harrogate event, I had a chance to sit down with the organization’s President Dr. Bryn Baxendale, who is also the Director of the Trent Medical Simulation Center at Nottingham University. Bryn and I had a great discussion about ASPiH’s history, its continued successes, collaborative work with SimGHOSTS, and the organization’s future goals. Read the transcript highlights or watch the video below!

Note that you can also watch Part 1 of our ASPiH video review, where we introduced Dr. Baxendale along with Sim Tech SIG Co-Chair Jane Nicklin, and Part 2 video coverage where we continue our further exploration into the sessions and speakers of the event, highlighting the keynote by Gordon S. Michael Simulation Center Director Dr. Barry Issenberg.

Bryn’s Interview:

“We based in the UK we’ve been running for the past four years. This is the 4th annual conference in Harrogate. We are a community of educators, clinicians, educators, managers and administrators who are interested in looking at how simulation and new learning technologies are applying to healthcare to improve safety and quality of care for patients. This year we have broken all previous records with over 400 participants in the conference, which demonstrates a significant year after year growth. our attendees come from a range of different professional backgrounds and specialities  we have student as well as qualified practicers and administrators who have come from all across the UK and abroad to take part in the program.

ASPiH came about four or five years ago from combining two previous organizations who represented educators either in medical education using high fidelity simulation or those from nursing education background using low fidelity simulation and clinical skills practice. And that need came about because those communities were overlapping in the work they were doing, in the technologies they were accessing and the goals they were trying to achieve. ASPiH served the purpose of uniting those groups under one umbrella because we have had demonstrated that we can have very meaningful activities and events and networking from involving members from across all of those specialities and professions. It really enabled those communities to develop their own endeavors and well as link into a growing recognition of the place of simulation, and increasingly linking to a greater political and professional awareness of the need for innovation and new ways of thinking about how to educate and develop the workforce. Simulation in its breath of modalities and and the increasing number of mobile technologies has reached into ways of doing that. ASPiH is about making that accessible, making it educational coherent, and making it center on improving quality of care for patients. Our success has really been built on being agile and flexible with the needs of the community and things they are struggling with and to develop relationships with stakeholder groups and political groups working on behalf of the government on how to improve quality of education in a way which was innovative and more efficient with a better set of outcomes than previously achievable.


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At the conference we were very proud to announce a new journal which is to be called the “BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning”. This is a journal which will be integral to our community and we think to the much wider to the international community offering another portal for publication. We think this will provide different options then what is currently available and broaden the literature and broaden the access to innovation and to a network of innovators.

At 2012’s conference we opened for the first time a session where we explored sharing technical innovations from across the simulation community highlighting the work that goes on behind the scenes. This enabled us to provide an opportunity for some of the clinical skills and simulation technicians to bring their ideas to conference and start to network. In the UK, this was the first opportunity they ever had. We carefully reviewed that program and with support of the hosts for this year’s conference in Yorkshire where there are a number of champions for this field we were able at this year’s conference to have a full-themed track for learning technologies and the technologists who support that throughout the conference building 2 days of activity.

simghosts-2012

SimGHOSTS Sim Tech Training Event Photo 2012

Responding from the need of the community to have that we were also fortunate to have an opportunity to link in with SimGHOSTS who have been experiencing similar success on an international scale but mainly across North America. We saw the work that was going on with that group and established contact to find ways to support engagement of SimGHOSTS within the ASPiH conference and which has enabled us to further enhance the technology track, broadening the material and scope of what that group is looking to do. For us, this is a one of fundamental aspects of ASPiH – we hope to see the theme of the clinical skills and simulation technician to be broadened. I also hope that we very much see the relationship with SimGHOSTS to be further developed as we see a lot of common ground between the philosophy and ethos between the organizations and common ground about community support in the future.

One of the things we have now had an opportunity to do at a national level is launch a scoping project which has been supported by the Higher Education Academy has now been picked up and integrated into a national agenda item around technology enhanced learning by the Department of Health. The newer organization Health Education England is now driving forward that agenda across the NHS and linking that work with similar bodies with Scotland, Wales and Ireland. ASPiH is fortunate to represented with that work at a strategic level and so now some of the community’s work, innovation and enthusiasm are being shared on a national level. Having this work acknowledged across a wider community will be a fantastic opportunity and will appeal to people beyond the new journal.

It does very much feel like that ASPiH and the community we are reaching out to is reaching a tipping point to take another big step forward about the value they bring to healthcare education, workforce development and to patient safety improvement — and it feels great to be apart of that.”

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of HealthySim’s ASPiH Coverage and learn more about this organization and it’s November 2014 event at www.aspih.org.uk.


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