SimGHOSTS report from Emma Horsfield

Reviewed by Emma Horsfield - Albury Wodonga Heath simulation education coordinator 

In early July I attended the SimGHOSTS (Gathering of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists)2016 conference in Melbourne. This was the second year that I have attended the event and as expected, and again I was impressed with the learning and networking opportunities the conference offered.

The conference last year was recommended by a friend who had attended a SimGHOSTS conference in America and although I was a little apprehensive as I do not see myself as a technology savvy person I attended the symposium in Brisbane. I left Brisbane with an increased confidence in my techy ability, knowledge of resources which can assist me in my role as a Simulation Education Coordinator and an increased passion for all things related to simulation.

Although the name SimGHOSTS refers to simulation technology specialists, the conference offered a wide range of plenary presentations and workshops that were relevant to my educator role. I particularly enjoyed workshops which were focussed on leadership and project management, the power of collaboration, setting up a simulation centre in Karachi, Pakistan and creating virtual patients for education with the use of Open Labyrinth software.

I also co-facilitated a workshop with Dr. Kirrian Steer which demonstrated  how features within Microsoft Excel such as user forms, pivot tables, pivot charts and data dashboards can be used to benefit a simulation program. Writing the code which is required to enable these functions was also explained and demonstrated.  The Excel features can be utilised to produce robust data and analytics which reflect the current activity of a simulation centre and valuable evidence which can inform decisions related to the current and future direction and needs of a simulation program.

The workshop was well received and provided a lot of learning to not only the session participants but also myself as I prepared for the presentation. Enormous credit and thanks to Kirrian on doing a huge amount of work to develop the majority of the workshop content.

The final personal highlight of the conference was winning the conference “Bug-Busters” competition. This is a trouble shooting competition that requires participants to use their expertise across a range of simulation technology, IT, AV, moulage, clinical and education challenges. The competition consisted of four rounds (the first round being a small group round, the remaining round individual challenges) where participants had ten minutes to diagnose and resolve a number of issues in a simulation room. The final round between myself and another simulationist was live-streamed into the main auditorium (no pressure!!!).  “Bug-Busters” provided me with not only a wonderful prize (free registration to a 2017 SimGHOSTS event) but more importantly a chance to develop relationships with other simulation enthusiasts and share valuable knowledge and skills.

I highly recommend not only the SimGHOSTS conference but also subscription to the SimGHOSTS website which offers online resources, training, forums, databases and a HUGE online video library including presentations from previous SimGHOSTS events.

Visit the SimGHOSTS web page for more information about upcoming events.