Enabling wider sharing of knowledge, expertise, and educational innovation related to simulated practice across the healthcare professions

Press Release for Irish Association for Simulation held at the ASSERT Centre, UCC on 28th April 2017

It was a full house at the worldclass ASSERT Centre, College of Medicine and Health, UCC as the 2nd annual symposium of the Irish Association for Simulation got under way. Local IAS Symposium organiser and Centre Manager at ASSERT, Dave Power welcomed a diverse group of attendees from across all domains of healthcare, who share a common interest in using simulation-based education and training to improve patient safety. The symposium was a perfect opportunity or knowledge sharing among healthcare professionals across all disciplines in the exciting field of medical and surgical simulation.

IAS Individual
Tim Laning (in full flight) talking about how serious games captivate and immerse 

One of the keynote speakers Dr.Tim Laning, Chief Commercial Officer, Grendal Games believes “that serious games drive engagement. They enthuse, captivate and immerse. He asked the audience to imagine the dedication of the average gamer, then project that that on to physiotherapy, skills training or learning. The applications are infinite”. 
The symposium provided a variety of workshops for the attendees including the practical elements of special effects and moulage in simulation, practical suturing with Professor Paul Neary at the state of the art cadaveric Surgical Skills Lab and VR Cardiac intervention simulation courtesy of Cork based cardiologist, Dr. Peter Kearney.
Director of Research at the ASSERT Centre, Professor Tony Gallagher presented on why simulation training in medicine and healthcare must become more than an interesting “educational experience” and how the application of “Proficiency based Progression” during training ensures significant improvements in training outcomes and ultimately clinical outcomes. Professor Gallagher believes that “Simulation can be a very powerful tool for the effective and efficient training of skills, however, evidence from prospective, randomized and blinded clinical studies shows that simulation-based training is optimised only when trainees train until they have demonstrated that they can perform to a quality assured benchmark performance level which, has been derived from the performance of experienced and safe practitioners.".

Dr Helen Higham, Director of OxSTaR and Immediate Past President of the Association for Simulation Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH) closed the IAS Symposium at the worldclass ASSERT Centre, University College Cork today and provided much food for thought as she presented on the hot topic of “Simulation and Human Factors in Healthcare. Dr Higham highlighted the considerable evidence underpinning the value of training healthcare professionals in teams and pointed out that we now have well provisioned simulation centres

IAS Group
L to R Dr. Michael Morrow, Mr Dave Power, Mr. Tim Laning, Jan-Jang Severs, Dr Helen Higham, Prof Tony Gallagher

across the UK and Ireland which must be supported in doing this. She concluded that "we have a moral responsibility to our patients to ensure that staff are proficient in delivering safe, high quality care and simulation training is a cornerstone for development in that domain"
Chair of the IAS, Dr Crina Burlacu thanked the ASSERT Centre team for hosting the second annual symposium which is intended to bring together simulation educators and users belonging to a variety of healthcare disciplines and professions with a shared interest in promoting and developing the best practice in relation to simulation-based education and technology -enhanced learning. Dr Burlacu stated that “IAS is delighted to hold this year’s meeting in the ASSERT centre, which provides world class facilities for training medical students and healthcare professionals in its state-of-the-art simulation suites, clinical skills areas and multifunctional laboratories.  A broad spectrum of keynote lectures and workshops were held featuring both national and international speakers together with a large exhibition area where industry partners showcased the latest simulation technology”.  Dr. Burlacu added “this is a remarkable educational and networking event which I hope participants and speakers alike will find educationally beneficial, challenging and helpful in further shaping the simulation-based education in Ireland. 

ASSERT Director, Professor Barry O Reilly believes that the ASSERT Centre in association with bodies like IAS will enable all healthcare professionals to develop and maintain their skills, individually or as members of a team and will put UCC and Cork on the map to become the premier Centre of Excellence for medical, surgical and allied healthcare professional training in Europe.