DASH to the Rescue

Blog - DASH to the Rescue

By: Erin M. Schulz RN, MSN, EMT

I learned about the Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare© (DASH) Score Sheet about a year or so ago when conducting an in-depth review of literature to develop a debriefing curriculum for our institution. Now my setting is quite different than most simulation sites as I work for a free-standing, non-profit, pediatric hospital not affiliated with any learning institutions (i.e. medical or nursing school). Our sim team is small and most simulation events are facilitated by our clinical educators in addition to one simulation specialist.  However, after a thorough needs assessment, my partner and I decided most of our clinical educators did not have any sort of formal training in debriefing. Hence the reason we developed the debriefing class for them.

We designed a 4-hour debriefing class that incorporates the PEARLS debriefing framework to teach the participants how to conduct a proper debriefing following a simulation event. Next, we discuss the DASH© Score Sheet in detail reviewing each element.  After the didactic portion of the class concludes the last 3 hours of the course are spent running mini-scenarios.  The participants take turns facilitating a scenario and debriefing while 1-2 participants are scoring the facilitator on his/her debriefing effectiveness using the DASH tool. In addition, we use the DASH Score Sheet to conduct post-course evaluations at 3 and 6 months.  We accomplish this by videoing the facilitators conducting a debriefing and use the DASH tool to score them on each element and provide feedback.

The DASH Score Sheet provides a standard for debriefing.  Previously, we did not have a standard tool or method with debriefing and each facilitator debriefed their own way. This lead to an unstructured and inconsistent experience for the learners.

I believe the DASH tool is simple to use and detailed, both of which made the tool an easy integration into debriefing practice. The learners have adopted using DASH as a guide for their debriefings and are extremely positive about the effectiveness of the tool.

Erin M. Schulz RN, MSN, EMT is a Clinical Practice & Advanced Education Specialist within the Simulation Program at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Want to learn more about DASH? The DASH Rater’s Handbook and Score Sheets can be found for free on the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) website. CMS also offers an online DASH Rater Training Workshop for educators interested in adding the assessment tool to their debriefing repertoire.