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A qualitative evaluation of the role of simulation in policy development for service improvement
  1. Thomas Blanks1,
  2. Nicholas Woodier1,
  3. Bryn Baxendale2,
  4. Mark Fores1,
  5. Lynn Fullerton3
  1. 1Trent Simulation and Clinical Skills Centre, Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Trent Simulation & Clinical Skills Centre, QMC Campus, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3Practice Development Matron.Nottingham City Hospital, Nursing Development, Derwent House Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Blanks, Trent Simulation Clinical Skills Centre, Queen’s Medical Centre,Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK; thomas.blanks{at}, drtomblanks{at}


Objective To evaluate the efficacy of simulation-based techniques to prospectively assess developing polices prior to implementation.

Methods A self-selected sample of nursing staff from a local, acute hospital reviewed a draft intravenous drug administration policy before simulating drug administration of either an infusion or direct injection. The participants completed a postsimulation questionnaire regarding the new policy and simulation, took part in a semistructured interview and were observed during the simulation with their consent.

Results 10 staff attended the simulation. The emergent themes identified a wide range of factors relating to the everyday usability and practicalities of the policy. There were issues surrounding inconsistent language between different clinical teams and training requirements for the new policy.

Conclusion Simulation, using simple scenarios, allows the safe evaluation of new policies before publication to ensure they are appropriate for front-line use. It engages staff in user-centred design in their own healthcare system.

  • healthcare ergonomics
  • simulation
  • policy
  • user testing
  • Implementation

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  • Contributors All authors certify that they have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content, including participation in the concept, design, analysis, writing or revision of the manuscript. Conception and design of study: BB, NW, MF and LF. Acquisition of data: NW, LF and TB. Analysis of data: WN and TB. Drafting the manuscript: TB and NW. Revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content: BB, LF and MF. Approval of manuscript to be published and accountability for manuscript: all authors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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