Healthcare Education Assessment Training & Technology Inaugural Conference Opens in Orlando

This morning at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL the inaugural Healthcare Education Assessment Training & Technology Conference opened its doors to healthcare educators, administrators, innovators, and more.

healthcare education assessment training and technology

Opening the show was Andy Smith of Halldale Media who shared how he began his journey into healthcare education by spending his childhood holidays with his parents who worked in hospitals. As an adult his passion took him into developing businesses which support simulation training in the military and aviation industries — all of which helped him see the stark differences healthcare training when he had to undergo laparoscopic surgery over a decade ago where there was no simulation. For him, the opportunity to help bridge that gap was clear. Andy then mentioned the book Beyond the Checklist by Suzanne Gordon (read my book review here) which obviously mentioned the “Miracle on the Hudson”, to which he suggested “was no miracle” because “prepared pilots executed trained procedures and communication methods that saved the lives of those onboard”. He then reminded us that while there have been about 400,000 deaths and millions of injuries attributed to medical error in the past year alone, there has not been a single death by a US-based airlines carrier in the past four years.

Being a world leader in simulation resources for aviation, Andy clearly brings critical knowledge necessary for the expanded success of simulation in healthcare. Challenges he suggested for our community include: resistance to change, a retiring baby-boomer generation which will create a vacuum of experience, the increased attention of medical errors by Washington DC and the difficulty to have good work in some areas to be adopted elsewhere.

Andy then introduced the event’s keynote speaker John H. Armstrong MD FACES, State Surgeon General and & Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. Dr. Armstrong provided a brief overview of the healthcare needs of Florida to help demonstrate the often-missed identification of exploring actual patient care needs before moving into simulation. He followed that “context” should be the primary driver of healthcare education and included other challenges to simulation champions in healthcare including:


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  • Ability to show relevance to quality and ROI of performance outcomes
  • Fragmented business model which was understandably driven by industry but that we have usually invested in before analyzing real needs
  • Culture of “practice on patients” is outdated yet still prevalent and questioned if this was really the best way to evaluate process

Dr. Armstrong then suggested how we can move forward:

  • Re-brand simulation to inspire quality with focus on patient outcomes
  • Develop integrated business model which works between industry, patients, and healthcare providers and focuses on public priorities
  • Focus on curriculum development which follows this pattern: explore needs assessment, define outcomes, select metrics, design instructional content, select appropriate simulator and tools, and then explore evaluation & feedback. (as opposed to starting with simulator selection and then designing instruction content).

He finalized his talk by asking us “Why do we pay 6 billion a year for a premium in inefficiency in healthcare education and training?”, reminding us that we don’t seem to all be on the “same page” in the simulation community, and that we need to reposition education and training through simulation as part of the solution to health system challenges.

Currently David Banks MSW FACHE from Florida Hospital is reminding us that the U.S. Inspector General suggested that of the hundreds of thousands of death attributed to medical error, 44% of them are preventable. Inspired yet? HEATT is lining up to be the event healthcare needs to improve its education and training.

Learn more about the HEATT program here and for more coverage, be sure to follow twitter accounts @HealthySim & @HalldaleMedia.


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