MEdsim Magazine Becomes Medical Training Magazine

medical-training-magazine

A big announcement today from MEdSim Magazine, that they are changing their name and expanding their focus to “Medical Training: Improving Performance, Improving Outcomes”. In the 1st edition of the 2016 series, Publisher Andy Smith shares this editorial letter regarding the reasons behind the change, which I encourage you to read in its entirety as it reflects some of the major problems our community faces, and a few ideas on how we can move forward.

One of the reasons Medical Training Magazine is such an important resource is because their parent company, Halldale Media, is the leader in aviation and military training resources — and have a powerful mission to expand those industry’s success stories into healthcare. This does, however, mean that HealthySimulation.com has returned to be the sole independent news source specifically dedicated to medical simulation news and information. Sign up for our free medical simulation newsletter to stay informed with the latest healthcare simulation news.

You can start a subscription, and read the latest content at the
Medical Training Magazine on the Halldale Media Website.

From MEdSim to Medical Training Magazine:

From its inception MEdSim has always been about education and more specifically training than simulation per se.

To quote three healthcare leaders: – “its not the simulation, it’s the curriculum.” – ‘‘don’t talk to me about simulation talk to me about how you will help me improve my outcomes.” – “medicine has changed beyond measure in the last 50 years, yet the way we teach and train has hardly altered.”



By referring to simulation alone we put ourselves in a narrow, small box with a limited if evangelical following. For this reason we will be renaming the magazine from MEdSim to Medical Training from the next issue, using the byline Improving Performance, Improving Outcomes.

In an industry of perhaps 6 million people in the US alone, the leading Simulation societies have memberships of about 3000 and 1500 people. Those numbers are creditable but are they sufficient to impact an industry of this size and complexity?

It is doubtful that they can achieve the change patients demand, hospitals need and we, as the healthcare simulation and training industry, require if we are to achieve our twin and compatible aims of helping solve healthcare’s significant problems while building a decent business.

Whilst we at Halldale/MEdSim/MTM have been evangelizing on behalf of simulation in multiple industries for the past 30 years we recognize that it is indeed ‘not about the simulation.’ Though we all need to continue to evangelize because we know that the use of simulation in a well structured training curriculum dramatically improves personal, team and business performance! In the case of healthcare better training means better patient care.

The decision to make this name change to Medical Training was made over the summer and it was not made lightly, changing a brand is never easy and there will be some who prefer the old title, though we feel that many more will respond to the new one.

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World Aviation Training Conference & Showcase Opens in Orlando

wats 2015

HealthySimulation.com is on hand to explore the very successful world of simulation in aviation! This morning at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando Florida, Halldale Media founder Andy Smith opened the World Aviation Training Conference and Tradeshow (WATS) 2015 to over 1,000 delegates from around the world and more than 80 industry vendors. The event was Diamond Sponsored by CAE, parent company to CAE Healthcare who is one of the leaders in the space.

Michael Whitaker, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided opened the show with an overview of the most up to date training and certification requirements for pilots, co-pilots, flight attendants and ground crew members. He reminded the audience that the FAA works hard to provide the “Safest most efficient airspace in the world, and your participation in this conference is evidence that your training experiences shares that goal.”

Captain Howard Attarian, Senior Vice President of Flight Operations at United Airlines (UA) followed Mr. Whitaker with an overview of their training program. Some will become regulatory in the future. “UA has a vested interest in staying above safety levels required by regulation to ensure the sage transport of passengers and cargo. Pilots, Flight Attendants, dispatchers, maintenance techs, and airport ops personnel are all included in our training programs.”

A variety of programs utilized by UA include data, flight, assessment, and management, all of which are cross-referenced against upcoming regulations. Statistical information is used to mitigate risk, warning us not to become “data rich but information poor”. Captain Attarian continued “You cannot give lip-service to these efforts – you will need full corporate support of these programs – every department needs to be set up for these programs and reporting needs to be complete. The system must understand mistakes but hold people accountable for their actions. You cannot achieve success without labor by making clear outcomes of how information will be used, promoting a shared model of trust that will enable your programs to succeed.”

When asked “Why United Airlines chooses to put at-risk pilots on notice” Captain Attarian answered “You have to bold, but not brazen. We observed behavior that was unacceptable. We put those responsible on notice. We followed up with a CRM analysis and ride-along program. All of which is supported by rich data analysis which drives the ultimate decision.”

simulation aviation

What’s amazing about being at a WATS conference is to see an entire industry with over 50 years of integrated simulation experience. The value of simulation is never a question, but rather how to continue to tweak the technology and training to ever improve flight safety. While the industry is not without its challenges, being in a space that has fully adopted simulation is a refreshing reminder about what’s to come for Healthcare in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

You can learn more about WATS and the aviation simulation industry by watching my video interviews from the 2013 Orlando event. You can also visit Halldale Media for both their Civil Aviation and Medical Simulation magazines.

Learn more at Halldale Media’s WATS Page

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:

  • 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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