Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Accreditation Update

By Kathy Schaivone, SSH Site Reviewer and member, Council for Accreditation

You might be thinking that only Simulation Centers are accredited by SSH or ask what the value would be to your organization. Accreditation by SSH designates to your internal stakeholders and external customers (e.g. learners) that your facility is a provider of quality education and a partner in advancing patient safety through education and assessment activities. Just ask the staff and faculty at Thomas Jefferson University. TJU Clinical Skills and Simulation Center under the direction of long time SP educator and ASPE member Carol Trent was recently accredited by SSH in core competencies, teaching and education. The excellence of their SP program was one factor that led the site reviewers to strongly recommend accreditation. Over the past two years nine institutions (some with SP programs) have become accredited through demonstration of the highest quality assessment, research, systems integration and education using simulation technologies and methodologies.

I recently participated in a two day Council of Accreditation retreat as the ASPE representative. We are viewed as a partner in the process and the needs of SP programs are important to the leadership of SSH. The process to become accredited is no small task, it requires significant time and resources devoted to the application and review process. As I sat there reading the accreditation standards I realized the importance to any SP center of putting down on paper basic elements such as mission and governance, the commitment to integrity and continuous quality improvement, curriculum design, validation of assessment tools and more. These are the standards by which SSH accredits programs and ones which I know we value and work to improve on a daily basis as SP educators.

Since its inception SSH has partnered with ASPE in the development of accreditation standards and as reviewers. In January several ASPE members were trained as reviewers and have participated in site reviews of facilities that have been stand-alone SP centers and/or SP and Sim Centers housed under one roof. I’d love to give you the new list now, but for confidentiality reasons, you will need to look for an announcement in the next ASPE newsletter of the names of these newly accredited sites.

Information about accreditation can be found on the SSH website. Even if you don’t plan to apply, look at the self study guide you might already have many of these items in place or might be inspired to begin development of processes to improve your SP program. http://www.ssih.org/forums/sshcommittees/cats

What are your thoughts on SSH site accreditation?  Join the discussion below:

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