Terminology & Concepts Committee Meeting and Town Hall at IMSH 2014

By Kris Slawinski

Because of our work on the Informal SP Terminology Survey, formed as the SSH SP SIG project, by vice chair Jennie Struijk and myself, we became aware of the work of SSH’s Terminology & Concepts Committee. Headed up by Joe Lopreiato of USUS and SSH’s Andrew Spain, the T&C is attempting to develop a “corpus,” or body of knowledge, related to simulation terminology, and currently has over 700 terms for consideration. I attended part of the five hour committee meeting at IMSH Saturday, January 25th, for an overview of their efforts. SSH has hired a lexicographer—one of only 100 English-speaking in the world today–to guide and assist on this massive undertaking, who attended remotely via video, walking us through an extended tutorial and Q&A on the style of definitions. Obviously, they are invested in getting it right!

The committee also held a Town Hall at IMSH the following Wednesday morning, attended by seven persons other than SSH staff. This was convened by Andrew Spain, who reported on the committee’s efforts to date, specifically, that they have met to practice writing definitions and define work rules for editing teams, so as to be able to develop a style guide, peer review process, and timeline. The list will be vetted with many of SSH’s affiliates to ensure it is a “census healthcare simulation list,” as, according to Spain, “We want it to be a two way street.”  Although they have vetted the list of terms with many affiliates, including but not limited to SSH, INACSL, SPSIM, ASSH, etc, Spain made it clear that they still need help, and appealed specifically to ASPE members and the international community to guarantee input from a diversity of volunteers. Acronyms are another large piece of this, and will need to be addressed as well. Also needed is money and resources, as this work will require dictionary software and a search engine to find terms in our domain of healthcare.

In closing, Spain again invited input from all interested parties, and for anyone with questions or concerns to please contact him at aspain@ssih.org. This is exciting, necessary work, and will require motivated people who can volunteer their time and effort. I should mention here, too, that Jennie and I will be turning the results of our Terminology Survey over to the SSH Terminology & Concepts Committee. The poster based on the results that was exhibited at IMSH is linked through the SSH SP SIG web page.

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