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Commentary: PATIENT SAFETY FORUM |

Simulation to Enhance Patient SafetySimulation to Enhance Patient Safety: Why Aren’t We There Yet?

Rajesh Aggarwal, PhD; Ara Darzi, PC, KBE, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College Healthcare, Imperial College, London, England.

Correspondence to: Rajesh Aggarwal, PhD, Department of Surgery and Cancer, St. Mary’s Campus, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, 10th Floor, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Building, St. Mary’s Hospital, Praed St, London, W2 1NY, United Kingdom; e-mail: rajesh.aggarwal@imperial.ac.uk


For editorial comment see page 840

Funding/Support: Dr Aggarwal is funded by a Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute of Health Research, Department of Health, UK.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;140(4):854-858. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0728
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The delivery of state-of-the-art medical care is complex, with large numbers of treatment strategies often available to individual patients. It is paramount to ensure that each patient receives optimal treatment in a safe, effective, and timely manner. Evidence suggests that an unacceptably high number of patients currently experience suboptimal care as the result of adverse events and medical error. Simulation-based training reduces medical error, enhances clinical outcomes, and reduces the cost of clinical care. It is surprising that medical simulation is not routinely integrated into the training curricula of all health-care professionals. Simulation enables doctors to practice and hone their technical, communication, decision making, and crisis management skills in a safe and educationally orientated environment. The process can foster the development of interprofessional working skills, leading to enhanced patient outcomes. Selection, credentialing, and revalidation of medical professionals are also possible in a simulation setting, enabling maintenance of standards of practice throughout a medical career. In order for simulation to become a part of the medical curriculum, collaborative efforts are required from academics, physicians, managers, and policy makers alike. Bringing these groups together, while a challenge, can lead to high-level outputs in medical care, which will benefit all.


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