Connecting simulation and quality improvement: How can healthcare simulation really improve patient care?

Victoria Brazil*, Eve Isabelle Purdy, Komal Bajaj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation has an established role in the education and training of healthcare professionals, but its function as a healthcare quality improvement (QI) tool is more emergent. In this edition of the journal, Ajmi and colleagues report on a simulation-based intervention that improved door-to-needle times and patient outcomes in acute ischaemic stroke. This prompts reflection on the positioning of simulation-based methods within QI programmes, the role of trained simulation experts as part of QI-focused teams and the directions for future scholarly enquiry that supports integration of these fields.

The improvement report by Ajmi et al is a comprehensive and thoughtful example among many reports of simulation-based interventions to improve care processes and patient outcomes. Improved time-based targets in trauma, stroke and cardiac care are frequently cited in the literature, as are better resuscitation outcomes and compliance with practice guidelines. The identification of latent safety threats in clinical environments, including testing of new facilities prior to opening, is also well described. Such research is usually positioned as providing ‘proof’ that simulation ‘works’ for improving patient care. However, confounders and balancing measures may not be rigorously examined in this enthusiasm to demonstrate cause and effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-865
Number of pages4
JournalBMJ Quality and Safety
Issue number11
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Connecting simulation and quality improvement: How can healthcare simulation really improve patient care?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this