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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 137-138

Saudi simulation

1 Department of Medical Education and Postgraduate Studies, The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, Riyadh 11614, Saudi Arabia
2 Life Support Training and Simulation Center, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11614, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication2-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
James Ware
The Department of Medical Education and Postgraduate Studies, The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, P.O. Box 94656
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-600X.159885

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How to cite this article:
Ware J, Lababidi H. Saudi simulation. J Health Spec 2015;3:137-8

How to cite this URL:
Ware J, Lababidi H. Saudi simulation. J Health Spec [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Feb 18];3:137-8. Available from: http://www.thejhs.org/text.asp?2015/3/3/137/159885

The Ministry of Health sponsored the first Saudi Health Simulation Conference in Riyadh, June 9-11, 2015. There were an estimated 1,500 participants to listen to eight international (two from the region) and thirteen local speakers make their presentations. There were eight pre-conference workshops and four more run as parallel sessions during the main conference days, Wednesday and Thursday. Twenty-nine posters were accepted for presentation from a variety of participants including surveys of undergraduate attitudes to simulation.

An impressive exhibition hall was filled with simulations from advanced virtual reality surgery to the traditional Resusci Anne. Unquestionably Dr. Abdulaziz Boker and Dr. Mansour Al Yami with their scientific and organising committees, respectively, shall be congratulated on the success of this conference. The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties was among the sponsors of the conference, as they are playing an active role in the introduction of simulation in postgraduate residents' training. Amongst many other things simulation has introduced a new dimension in medical and nursing team training. No longer is an assessment of a single person's abilities only considered appropriate for determining the safety and success of what will happen in reality. Another change in educational goals is that we shall not practice until we get it right, instead prepare ourselves so that we do not get it wrong. Hence, did the conference espouse those ideals? Most certainly, the conference had set for itself three goals:

  • International Standards and Accreditation of Simulation-Based Education
  • National Priorities of Simulation-Based Education in Saudi Arabia
  • Projection of Current and Future Needs of Simulation-Based Education.

These may seem like lofty goals but when one thinks that 10 years ago these thoughts were far from those of practicing health professionals in the kingdom, and today are beginning to be a reality, it is time for educational change to ensure the latest and most advanced educational technologies are implemented for the good of patient care.

However, simulation is certainly not new, starting with the Chase Hospital doll in 1911. [1] The best known of the early flight simulators was already being built in 1927, long before Εsmund Laerdal and Bjӧrn Lind produced Resusci Anne, in 1960. While everyone knows about the introduction of simulated patients by Harden et al. in Glasgow with their OSCE. [2] However, It was two Americans, Howard Barrows and Steve Abrahamson who first used what they called programmed patients to teach neurological examinations skills and then assess the outcomes achieved 50 years ago. [3] Increasingly simulation is being used for the training of our doctors and nurses, as well as many other professionals, for example, dentists and veterinarians. The imperative today is to protect the patient or indeed the animal. Patients' rights organisations and animal activists have changed the landscape of educational attitudes where it was once considered a privilege to be treated in a teaching hospital to being a privilege that patients allowed an unqualified student to examine them.

Then there has come another imperative, to reduce medical error. For example, the mortality in hospitals that employed unregistered house staff (interns or pre-registration housemen) increases for a period of six weeks after the new batch start work in that hospital. [4] In the late 1960s, it was reported from the Massachusetts General Hospital that almost 50% of all admissions were for correction of adverse drug reactions. The cost to health services for these events is incalculable. However, there are other costs too from medical error, estimated to be 98,000 human lives annually in the United States. [5] Simulation in all its forms is still in its infancy and there is a great need for the evidence base to be built supporting its use in health care education. Surveys like those produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges are all well and good, [6] but we need more evidence such as those provided by Seymour et al., [7] who reported a comparison between virtual reality surgery training versus traditional training of laparoscopic skills resulting in simulator trained residents operating almost 30% faster while making 6 times fewer critical errors, all after only 16 h of deliberate practice on the simulator. While another more recent report shows net savings of US$700,000 from catheter related bloodstream infections after training on a central vein catheter simulator in one hospital alone. [8] This can all be summed up by Sir Liam Donaldson, former Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, UK: [9]

'A surgeon trained on a simulator is twice as fast and twice as accurate as one who has not been. It reduces errors, making surgery much safer. How much better for a patient to know that the doctor has practised, refined and rehearsed their skills before taking the patient's life into their hands. Simulation works and is important to medicine. The NHS must be able to provide it to make a difference to patients.'

The Ministry of Health in the Kingdom supported by the Saudi Commission has started making a change in the way we think and act on educational principles, and it is predicted that this will be a very fruitful relationship.

  References Top

Available from: http://www.nsna.org/Portals/0/Skins/NSNA/pdf/Imprint_FebMar08_Feat_MrsChase.pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 15].  Back to cited text no. 1
Harden RM, Stevenson M, Downie WW, Wilson GM. Assessment of clinical competence using objective structured examination. Br Med J 1975;1:447-51.  Back to cited text no. 2
Barrows HS, Abrahamson S. The programmed patient: A technique for appraising student performance in clinical neurology. J Med Educ 1964;39:802-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
Internal Communication from Groote Schuur Hospital (South Africa) Provided with Overview of the Use of OSCE for Patient Safety; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kohn L, Corrigan J, Donaldson MS. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health Care System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2000.  Back to cited text no. 5
Medical Simulation in Medical Education. Results of an AAMC Survey. Association of American Medical Colleges; September, 2011.  Back to cited text no. 6
Seymour NE, Gallagher AG, Roman SA, O′Brien MK, Bansal VK, Andersen DK, et al. Virtual reality training improves operating room performance: Results of a randomized, double-blinded study. Ann Surg 2002;236:458-63.  Back to cited text no. 7
Cohen ER, Feinglass J, Barsuk JH, Barnard C, O′Donnell A, McGaghie WC, et al. Cost savings from reduced catheter-related bloodstream infection after simulation-based education for residents in a medical intensive care unit. Simul Healthc 2010;5:98-102.  Back to cited text no. 8
On the State of Public Health: Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2008, CMO Annual Reports Archive; 2008. Available from: http://www.webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/www.dh.gov.uk/en/Aboutus/.../index.htm. [Last accessed on 2015 June 04].  Back to cited text no. 9


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