Canadian-Based QEII Foundation Raises 1.8 Million for New Simulation Program

High-stakes education: Simulation training at QEII

Wouldn’t 1.8M be great for your simluation program? Learn how the Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre at the QEII Health Sciences Centre was able to secure this funding to help improve the training of their healthcare professionals with this recent article from The Chronicle Herald Times:

Designed to provide a realistic medical teaching environment, the Sim Bay is heading toward a transformation that will turn the makeshift space into a state-of-the-art high fidelity simulation facility — as close to real life as possible. Once complete, it will play a key role in training various disciplines resulting in improved patient health outcomes.

The QEII Foundation raised $1.8-million to support this transformation as part of a simulation-based learning campaign.

“When the space is renovated, the sky is the limit for us. We’ve done great things with what we have and I know we can be so much better,” says Donna Warren, Simulation Coordinator, QEII Simulation Program. “If you’ve ever had a loved one who’s been in hospital, and whose care has been exemplary, behind that is hours and hours of simulation and getting it right.”

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Dr. Nick Sowers, medical director of the Sim Bay, works closely with various groups of learners at the QEII to direct simulations and offer medical oversight. He says the traditional medical philosophy of ‘see one, do one, teach one’ is quickly going by the wayside as simulation training proves its worth. Just one scenario provides crucial real-life training, and simulation training reduces the need for, and the risk of, experiential learning.

“By the time you’re a senior resident, the diagnosis and treatment is often not the hard part,” Dr. Sowers says. “One of the hardest parts is the ability to manage the room, to control yourself and stay calm; communicating effectively as a team during a crisis no matter how chaotic it is.” Taking charge and leading a team of staff in an emergency can take years for most physicians to perfect, but now, thanks to spaces like the current Sim Bay, self-admitted quiet people like fourth-year resident Dr. Samantha Jang-Stewart can find their voice before graduation.

“My first year doing simulation was terrifying because you’re a little unsure and still learning the medical side of things and then you’re supposed to be directing a team of people,” Dr. Jang-Stewart says. “It’s really nerve-wracking but with practice in sim, you get used to doing it and become more comfortable and confident.”This new-found confidence helped Dr. Jang-Stewart lead a team of residents to a first place finish at the Trauma Nova Scotia Simulation Olympics.

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Canadian Simulationists Breathe Life Into Training Manikins

Simulationists breathe life into training manikins

The press coverage of healthcare simulation continues to catch the public’s attention at facilities across the world! Recently this awesome article covered the work of Canadian-based Fanshawe College nursing simulations, and the connection to Ontario’s SIM-One group:

Fanshawe nursing students work with a simulator to hook up a colonoscopy bag. Christine Link sits inside a small room with two-way glass, watching a young woman in the classroom beyond. The nursing student seems unsure what to do with an elderly male patient in the bed in front of her. She lingers by the supply cart, as if looking for something. Link speaks through a microphone, which comes out of the manikin as a scratchy, old-man’s voice. She is playing the role of George, a grumpy senior with a respiratory condition. “Get me a drink of water,” commands Link. George has dirty tissues filled with fake mucus scattered around him. As the student fetches a cup, Link explains that she is waiting for the perfect teaching moment. “I would have the student hold it up to my mouth, and that’s when I’d cough.”

Link is one of a growing number of simulation experts working in medical, paramedic and nursing programs across the country. “Health care has really come a long way in how we teach and present material,” she says. “No longer are we injecting into an orange.” Link, who graduated from the practical nursing program at Fanshawe College in 2007, returned to the Ontario school as a part-time lab technician the following year. After stints as an instructor, in 2013 she became the simulation technologist, now responsible for running 15 manikins.

At SIM-one in Toronto, a non-profit, national networking, training and R&D organization with 1,700 members involved in health-care simulation, CEO Timothy Willett says every college and university in the country has adopted the technique. In Ontario alone, 78 different programs and labs are using a total of 1,236 manikins and thousands more simulation tools.

SIM-one offers several online and in-person courses, including the brand-new 12-week Simulation Scenario Writing, Roleplay Theatre and Simulation Wizardry. They also train experienced simulationists to run their own courses, and each year about 15 to 20 are certified as simulation educators after they have completed three courses at a total cost of about $2,000. “As far as I know, there’s no kind of college programs you can go to with the intent of getting into that role,” says Willett.

Newfoundland SimSummit Starts This Week By Royal College of Surgeons Canada

simulation conference newfoundland canada

Taking place later this week in NewFoundland Canada is the Simulation Summit, a conference connecting healthcare simulation champions and vendors together. Are you participating in the conference, tweet to us @HealthySim and share your favorite moment!

The Simulation Summit is a unique and practical, interprofessional medical simulation education conference, which attracts hundreds of international simulation educators, researchers, health care professionals and other individuals engaged in the field of simulation.

The 2016 conference theme, Extreme Simulation, will explore simulation research, learning and practice in a spectrum of contexts and settings, from hospitals and university teaching centres, to rural and remote locations.

Participants at the 2016 Simulation Summit will have the opportunity to collaborate with international colleagues on knowledge translation as it relates to simulation in healthcare; examine new technologies in medical simulation; investigate advances in medical simulation and much more.

Participants at the 2016 summit will:

    • Collaborate with international colleagues on knowledge translation as it relates to simulation in the health professions.
    • Investigate advances in medical simulation for health profession in the realm of assessment and education
    • Examine new technologies in medical simulation for health professions; and
    • Plan to integrate medical simulation for health professions across the education spectrum from students to practitioners.

Learn more on the Simulation Summit Website!

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Ontario’s SIMone 2016 October Sim Expo Agenda Revealed!

sim expo 2016

Spots are filling up quickly for Canada’s premier healthcare simulation conference — Half, one and 2-day rates are available. Don’t miss the Opening Reception on October 5. This Industry-Sponsored Reception will feature Dr. Nicole Harder as a keynote speaker. Happy to share with you the great lineup of interactive workshops and agenda for the 2016 SIM Expo taking place on October 5-7 at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel.

The conference is packed with something for everyone. Don’t miss:

  • Virtual Simulation Showcase
  • Simulation in Action
  • Simulation Awards Presentation
  • Networking Events & Opportunities
  • Industry-Sponsored Reception
  • Edu-Gaming Den
  • Poster & Video Crawl
  • Interactive Workshops & many more!

About SIM-one

SIM-one is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, and resources. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and safety. SIM-one offers advanced educational training and online services that are open to simulationists and health professionals across the globe.

View the full 2016 SimONE program here!

Master Simulation Skills with SIM-one’s Certified Education Program

Whether you’re a simulation novice or expert, SIM-one’s certificate programs and breadth of courses in simulation-based education can help you master the concepts of the field and advance your career in healthcare simulation. Learn about all of SIM-one’s certificate programs and course offerings below.

Mastering the Artistic Side of Clinical Simulation certificate program

Mastering the Artistic Side of Clinical Simulation (MASCS) focuses on the creative and psychological elements that bring simulations to life, enhancing fidelity, and increasing learner engagement. MASCS introduces the use of best practices and techniques for enhancing health professions education.

MASCS is designed to help mentor and support participants in developing a career in the exciting field of healthcare simulation. The experience and learning are grounded in networking and collaboration. Connections made within this program will be nurtured to further develop practice within the broad simulation community.

sim-one-Sabrina Boucher-and-Bruce-Ballon

Sabrina Boucher of La Cité collégiale (left) is the first-ever MASCS graduate. On the right is Dr. Bruce Ballon, director of education, SIM-one.


Students of the MASCS program were encouraged to be creative in a reflection submission. Above is Louise Moir’s submission, submitted with the traditional reflection paper.

Keystones of Healthcare Simulation certificate program

The Keystones of Healthcare Simulation is designed for those who are interested in a more immersive experience in healthcare simulation. This program supports participants in developing their careers as simulationists in roles such as educators, leaders, scholars, and faculty developers. As with MASCS, the Keystones experience is grounded in networking and collaboration.


2014 “Keystonians” (From top L to R: Lisa Kakonge, Leigh Andrews, Alicia Stewart, Anne Marie Renzoni, Gladys Mokaya, and Dr. Bruce Ballon. From bottom L to R: Luba Komar, Raya Gal, Donna Rampersad, and Lan McMillan).

“The Keystones is a program that helped me put perspective and knowledge together to make a very challenging learning environment a very rewarding and successful means to an end. I would highly recommend this program as it is very comprehensive and ‘hands on’ in its approach. The people that run this program have all the knowledge, direction and passion to help every health professional (regardless of which field) succeed in their own institutions.” – Dr. Dominic Giuliano, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC)

SIM-one’s courses in simulation

What are the essential elements of simulation? What are the imagination and psychological principles behind all simulations? How do you create the best possible scenarios? Their experts and leading simulation and healthcare education researchers will equip you with the knowledge and tools during discussions, interactive exercises, and group breakout sessions.

SIM-one’s courses are typically offered as two-day, in-person intensives, using an online flipped approach or a blend of the two.

Popular SIM-one courses include:

  • Briefing, Debriefing, and Facilitating a Simulation – Mastering the art of briefing, debriefing, and facilitation for a successful simulation.
  • Introduction to Simulation: The Essentials of Simulation-Based Learning – An accredited, two-day intensive introductory course that teaches the essential elements of a simulation.
  • e-Xplorers of Simulation – An introduction to using e-simulation and e-blended learning for enhancing clinical teaching and healthcare education.
  • SIMaginarium: The Imagination Behind Simulation – Examining the use of imagination and psychological principles that underpin all aspects of simulation.
  • SIM Research Primer – The perfect introduction to the world of research into simulation-based education and healthcare quality improvement.


Active listening during Briefing, Debriefing, and Facilitating a Simulation two-day course (November 13, 2015)

“e-Xplorers was a great eye-opener to how simulation can be adapted to e-learning needs.”

“The course was creative and fun. It was a great opportunity to work with colleagues on the activities that we can do together in teaching and facilitating.” (SIMaginaium)

“The course identified key aspects to simulation/medical education research that would not be apparent to a clinical researcher.” (SIM Research Primer)

All educators, health professionals, and individuals interested in learning more about simulation and/or becoming a simulation educator are welcome. Be sure to check their website for upcoming simulation-based courses and the full list of SIM-one’s course offerings.

About SIM-one

SIM-one is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, and resources across Canada and beyond. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and safety. Supported in part by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), SIM-one offers advanced educational training and online services that are open to simulationists and health professionals across the globe.

Learn about all these great programs at SIM-one’s website today!

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Save the Date May 30th: 2016 National Forum on Simulation for Quality & Safety!

sim one quality and patient safety

On Monday, May 30, 2016, Toronto will welcome the first National Forum on Simulation for Quality & Safety – an exciting knowledge-sharing event on the growing interest in using simulation to improve patient safety and quality of care.

This groundbreaking initiative is a joint launch by SIM-one, IDEAS (Improving & Driving Excellence Across Sectors), Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), Accreditation Canada, Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC), Health Quality Ontario (HQO), and HealthCareCAN.

The purpose of the Forum is to:

  • Demonstrate ways in which simulation reduces adverse events, costs and financial risks for hospitals;
  • Promote evidence and examples supporting the use of simulation at the point of care delivery;
  • Highlight current Canadian leaders and their knowledge and insights into establishing hospital-based simulation programs; and
  • Motivate decision-makers to pursue the integration of simulation-based patient safety and quality improvement initiatives/education/programs at their organizations.

The event will be co-chaired by:

Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto; Canada Research Chair in simulation and surgical safety; creator of the surgical black box

Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) D. Brown, D.Phil
Director, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; co-chair of the IDEAS Quality Improvement (QI) Program.

Attendees should expect a dynamic program that includes an inspiring and informative lineup of presenters from Canadian leaders in simulation in hospitals, and plenty of social and networking opportunities.

Mark your calendars now:

WHAT: 2016 National Forum on Simulation for Quality & Safety
WHO: All hospital and care delivery organizational leaders, administrators, quality and safety leads, hospital-based simulationists and researchers are welcome.
WHEN: Monday, May 30, 2016
WHERE: Sheraton Gateway Hotel Toronto International Airport, Terminal 3 Toronto ON L5P 1C4

For more information, please visit the Sim-One NFSQS Website!


Simnovate International Summit May 5-6 at Montreal’s McGill University


Save the date for Simnovate International Summit at McGill University this May!

This May 5-6 2016 at McGill University in Montreal, QC, Canada the Simulation Team will be putting on a 2nd annual Simnovate event to bring together simulation, education and innovation in the healthcare arena. With a focus on four domain areas (patient safety, pervasive learning, medical technologies, and global health), they are undertaking a broad review of current strengths and areas of focus, determination of future directions and zones of importance, and prescription of defined approaches to improve health care.

About Simnovate:

The summit is intended to be dynamic, interactive, engaging, and above all, an opportunity for the global community to come together with the common aim to improve the health of people across the world. The official launch of Simnovate took place on 25 May 2015, at the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. An academic symposium, followed by an innovation showcase, was well attended by the local McGill community.

The event also publicly launched the four domain groups, and the two co-chairs for each group. Since May 2015, the domain groups have each engaged seven to ten renowned individuals, who have passion, drive and enthusiasm for this process.

Each group is tasked with undertaking four teleconference calls, to be completed by January 2016. During each call, topics of the current status, future perspectives, and paths to achieve prospective gains, are discussed. The culmination of the teleconference discussions is first, for each group to produce a white paper, which summarizes the dialogue, thoughts and considerations of each groups’ conversations.

We have the honor and pleasure of inviting three highly distinguished guests to deliver keynote addresses at the summit. Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, will be opening the summit on the morning of May 5. On May 6, Dr. David Asch, Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and Dr. Kedar Mate, Senior Vice President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement will also share their insights from decades of work in healthcare innovation.


Learn more about Simnovate at the McGill Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interaction Learning Wesbite 

3D-Printed Hearts — A Training Tool for Canadian Surgeons via Norfolk News

3d printed heart

Interesting article today out of Canada and the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, which is working with 3D printing technology to help with clinical education:

About a dozen trainees — from Canada and such countries as Norway, Oman, Mexico and the United States — have come to watch master surgeons demonstrate the highly complicated techniques used to repair a number of congenital heart abnormalities and to safely practise those skills on models of their own. Three-dimensional copies have been created of five hearts from real infants with cardiac anomalies using a high-tech 3D-printer, which almost perfectly reproduces the organ’s structure using a photopolymer resin, based on sophisticated MRI and CT imaging.

“Each of the models represents a very specific form of disease that is very different,” says Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Sick Kids. “I can look at the model and tell you what the diagnosis is.” The 3D-printed hearts — some orange, others whitish in colour — were produced by Dr. Shi-Joon Yoo, a cardiac radiologist at the hospital.

Depending on its size, a duplicate of a child’s heart can take anywhere from four to 12 hours to produce, as layer upon layer of the resin is built up, he says. While the current cost is somewhat prohibitive – estimated at about $2,000 per model — Yoo says the technology means hundreds of copies can be printed after imaging a single child’s heart to demonstrate a particular defect.

“Anybody can practise on the same structure, so that is the real value of that.” Van Arsdell says the trainees have come to Toronto to learn procedures that would typically take years to learn by watching and assisting senior surgeons before they would be allowed to perform the operation on their own. For some, such expertise isn’t available in their home countries.

Read the full article on the Norfolk News website!

Canadian SIM-one Announces December’s Sim Expo Speakers & Agenda for 2015 Event!

sim one 2015

SimONE recently announced their 2015 conference speakers – Dr. Teresa Gore, president of International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning (INACSL), and Dr. Teodore Grantcharov, Canada Research Chair (CIHR-funded) in simulation and surgical safety. These two simulation experts are revolutionizing the field of simulation and will open day one and day two, respectively, of the expo.


Here is a list of just some of the workshop sessions you can attend at SIM Expo 2015:

  • Integrating Simulation Modalities to Enhance Team Responsiveness to Acute Deterioration in the Elderly
  • Compassion in the Face of Distress: Integrating Simulation and Therapy Techniques to Facilitate Emotional Regulation in Interprofessional Care
  • Frameworks in guiding general debriefing and in debriefing simulation with interprofessional skills objectives
  • A Beginners Guide to Debriefing
  • Strategies for the integration of Electronic Health Record/Informatics into health professions curriculum
  • 12 Hour Nightshift Simulation Event: Intraprofessional to Interprofessional learning events and lessons learned
  • Multimedia in simulation: building it in light of how human mind works
  • Increasing the use of simulation in preparing BScN students in the management of chronic disease
  • Integrating Simulation with Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Competencies
  • Budget Conscious Integration of Simulation into Existing Spaces
  • Improvisation for Simulationists
  • SimuCafe Conversation Circles


  • Multimedia in simulation: Building it in Light of How Human Mind Works
  • Integrating Simulation with Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Competencies
  • Interprofessional Education: Debriefing Team Competencies in a Large Scale Trauma Simulation


OSSim Provides Orthopedic Open Surgery Simulator Sim-K

sim k

Today I learned of OSSim Technologies based out of Canada which earlier this year released a groundbreaking Orthopedic Open Surgery Simulator called the Sim-K. Have you trained on this device yet?

OSSim Technologies was founded in 2013 by experienced and seasoned engineers and strives to better train orthopedic surgeons, and aims to become a major reference in the virtual reality simulator market.

About the Sim-K

The Sim-K is the next generation virtual reality simulator designed for the training of medical students and orthopedic residents. The device currently enables simulation training for the total knee replacement procedure and practice of surgical skills as bone drilling and sawing. With Sim-K, medical students train and focus on their basic surgical skills effectively — without risk to patients and hospital daily constraints. Different surgical cases are available and surgery procedures can be trained several times — before entering the stressful OR!

Sim-K Features

Experience of real-time haptic feed-back (applied force and resistance). Allows handling and manipulation of handheld drill and saw units. Allows practice of drilling and sawing on different shapes and materials, including bones. Allows practice of the total knee replacement procedure including intervention-based tasks (such as drilling and sawing). Allows tracking of total tools movement (precision, orientation, amplitude, depth), applied forces and tasks completion time. Performing software adaptable to training agenda and curriculum.

For more on the Sim-K, check out the article about the device in MedSim Magazine and visit their website!