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Faculty Presents Pilot Study Findings at International Simulation Meeting

Karen Breitkreuz
Karen Breitkreuz

Karen Breitkreuz, faculty in the School of Nursing, and her co-researcher, Melanie Wright, program director for patient safety and research for Trinity Health and Saint Alphonsus Health System, presented at the International Meeting of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Their presentation, “Improving Attention and Compliance with Risk Prevention Strategies through Simulated Error Experiences,” showcased their findings from their pilot study that is part of a two-year grant funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Following personal experience with errors or preventable adverse events, providers anecdotally report a greater sensitivity to risks. Adverse events are accidents and/or preventable errors, caused by distractions in the healthcare environment and/or shortcuts healthcare providers take in efforts to expedite patient care. Research has shown that the greater the perceived consequences associated with a preventable adverse event, the higher the likelihood that the event will be prevented. Higher perceived consequences are also associated with greater adoption of prevention strategies.

In the pilot study, the team developed multiple nursing scenarios intended to demonstrate human fallibility in the face of routine tasks. Scenarios, with 17 nursing students and five registered nurses, from two laboratory simulation settings, were evaluated. The participants were surveyed regarding perceived realism and perceived changes in attitudes regarding error likelihood, consequences, and error prevention behaviors. The research team then utilized qualitative discussion after the simulations with the participants to identify factors that may influence whether the simulation experience will provide a lasting impact on patient safety risk perception attitudes and behaviors. The participants’ post-simulation feedback supports the need for continued development of programs to expose nursing students and registered nurses to error situations that provide education, awareness of risk, and the need for risk prevention practices.

Breitkreuz, Wright, and their research team are now in the second phase of data collection and analysis. They are comparing the impact of simulated versus non-simulated error exposure.