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Strategic approaches to simulation-based education: A case study from Australia
journal contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by D Nestel, S Pritchard, M Watson, P Andreatta, Margaret BearmanMargaret Bearman, T Morrison
This paper addresses some of the challenges met when developing widely distributed, broad spectrum, simulation-based education (SBE) for health professionals, such as resource duplication, inconsistent facilities utilization, discipline-specific silos, and the intersection of academic institutions and health services sectors. We examine three primary contributors to successful simulation-based practices - strategic planning, program development, and professional networks. Further, we provide examples of how each of these contributors function at different levels to assure comprehensive, yet sustainable approaches to implementing SBE for greatest impact at national, state, regional, and institutional levels. We draw on the example of Australia and its state and regional government structures, including the challenges in providing health services across a widely variable geography and population distribution. The types of health services and issues relating to health provision and management reflect those found in many western countries. Our hope is that the experiences gained at each level of governance within Australia may inform similar, successful development in other countries. We emphasize the importance of leadership and investment at the national level that serves to inform state, regional, and institutional efforts through a "trickle down" effect. Although evaluation of the strategic planning, program development, and professional networks described in this case study is still ongoing, their preliminary coordination has resulted in significant investment and support at all levels.