Background Dissemination, implementation and sustainability of educational innovations in healthcare can be challenging.1 However, reproducing an established and successful simulation programme conserves valuable resources, encourages collaboration between simulation centres, and capitalises on learning from successful experiences.2
Hands Up for Heath (HUfH) is an experiential simulation-based community outreach programme for at-risk young people. The successful six-year old programme3 has recently been exported to two neighbouring hospital simulation centres.
This paper explores how the “franchised” version of a successful simulation programme builds on the excellent results of the original, and the key characteristics which enable the successful dissemination of simulation education innovations.
Methodology In line with local funding policy HUfH was “franchised” to two neighbouring hospital simulation centres. This paper reports on evaluation and comparison of participants’ experiences and learning from all three centres. Further, retrospective narrative accounts of those involved in the process explain contributors to this success.
Results/outcomes HUfH in these new contexts continues to have a positive impact, influencing health-related behaviours and thinking and career choices. Close collaboration between centres, sharing of simple, well-designed original resources, and space for local re-invention were key success factors.
Potential impact An established simulation-based outreach programme can be successfully replicated between sites.
Further in-depth evaluation underscores the factors which most influence the successful dissemination, implementation and sustainability of simulation education programmes.
This work contributes to an understanding of how simulation-based educational interventions can be adapted to be compatible with established norms and organisational values, to generate reproducible results, and leave scope for local re-invention.
In the current financial climate of the NHS, collaborating between centres to share successful programmes and resources will continue be important, so that we do not need to continually “reinvent the wheel”.
Greenhalgh et al. How to Spread Good Ideas. Report for the National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R and D, April 2014.
Cantillon P, Stewart B, Haeck K, Bills J, Ker J, Rethans JJ. Simulated patient programmes in Europe: collegiality or separate development?. Med Teach 2010;32(3):e106–10.
Thomas B, Jones A, Mau A, Reedy G. Discover the benefits of sharing simulation with inner-city youths: Leading simulation into wider community education. The International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare 2016.
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