Variation and Adaptation: Comments on Learning From Success in Patient Safety- Oriented Simulation Training

Peter Dieckmann*, Mary Patterson, Saadi Lahlou, Jessica Mesman, Patrik Nyström, Ralf Krage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Simulation is traditionally used to reduce errors and their negative consequences. But according to modern safety theories, this focus overlooks the learning potential of the positive performance, which is much more common than errors. Therefore, a supplementary approach to simulation is needed to unfold its full potential. In our commentary, we describe the learning from success (LFS) approach to simulation and debriefing. Drawing on several theoretical frameworks, we suggest supplementing the widespread deficit-oriented, corrective approach to simulation with an approach that focusses on systematically understanding how good performance is produced in frequent (mundane) simulation scenarios. We advocate to investigate and optimize human activity based on the connected layers of any setting: the embodied competences of the healthcare professionals, the social and organizational rules that guide their actions, and the material aspects of the setting. We discuss implications of these theoretical perspectives for the design and conduct of simulation scenarios, post-simulation debriefings, and faculty development programs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalAdvances in Simulation
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017


  • simulation
  • exnovation
  • Patient safety
  • video reflexivity


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