by Michael Vlessides

San Diego—Although simulation testing in actual patient care settings has been well documented as a way to improve clinical knowledge, an observational pilot study by San Francisco researchers has revealed a lesser-known benefit: Latent threats to patient safety were uncovered that were related to missing, inappropriate or nonfunctioning equipment in the clinical care environment.

“Traditionally, simulation has been performed in a simulation center that’s removed from the hospital,” said Francis A. Wolf, MD, an anesthesia resident at the University of California Medical Center, in San Francisco. “We do what we call in situ simulation, in the actual place of patient care rather than in a simulation lab.”