BACKGROUND: Anaesthesiologists are expected to master an increasing number of technical procedures. Simulation-based procedural training can supplement and, in some areas, replace the classical apprenticeship approach during patient care. However, simulation-based training is very resource-intensive and must be prioritised and optimised. Developing a curriculum for simulation-based procedural training should follow a systematic approach, eg the Six-Step Approach developed by Kern. The aim of this study was to conduct a national general needs assessment to identify and prioritise technical procedures for simulation-based training in anaesthesiology.
METHODS: A three-round Delphi process was completed with anaesthesiology key opinion leaders. In the first round, the participants suggested technical procedures relevant to simulation-based training. In the second round, a needs assessment formula was used to explore the procedures and produce a preliminary prioritised list. In the third round, participants evaluated the preliminary list by eliminating and re-prioritising the procedures.
RESULTS: All teaching departments in Denmark were represented with high response rates in all three rounds: 79%, 77%, and 75%, respectively. The Delphi process produced a prioritised list of 30 procedure groups suitable for simulation-based training from the initial 138 suggestions. Top-5 on the final list was cardiopulmonary resuscitation, direct- and video laryngoscopy, defibrillation, emergency cricothyrotomy, and fibreoptic intubation. The needs assessment formula predicted the final prioritisation to a great extent.
CONCLUSION: The Delphi process produced a prioritised list of 30 procedure groups that could serve as a guide in future curriculum development for the simulation-based training of technical procedures in anaesthesiology.