Adapting Space Science Methods for Describing and Planning Research in Simulation in Healthcare: Science Traceability and Decadal Surveys

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Two recent conferences have reviewed the state of research on simulation in healthcare and considered future directions. They both point to the need for more comprehensive and robust studies on a variety of aspects of simulation. The next step for strategic planning about research on simulation in healthcare should be to implement two mechanisms already used in fields of space sciences. One is a Science Traceability Structure that formally delineate Themes, Goals, and Objectives for the field and links them to Programs, Projects, and Methods. The second is the Decadal Survey, a highly detailed research planning activity conducted every ten years by scientific experts in the relevant fields, working under the auspices of the National Research Council. Decadal Surveys have unique characteristics, especially their extensive engagement with the research community, and their recommendations have generally been highly influential with policy-makers and legislators.

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