MEdSim correspondent Lesya Hoover describes Russia’s high-level efforts to integrate learning technology throughout that nation’s healthcare training programs. 

In 2006, the Russian government initiated a Priority National Program in its Public Health Service, to improve the nation’s healthcare standards. The program specified changes to the accreditation system for doctors that are to be in place by 2015. Amongst these, in the Ministry of Health’s in-depth review and modernization of curriculum for various disciplines, is mandated simulation-based training in both Internship and Residency training. Indeed, 72 hours of Internship and 108 hours of Residency training must be provided using simulation.

As in most countries many of Russia’s medical schools and hospitals have already upgraded their facilities and developed centers for practical simulation using the full range of equipment and techniques. The Russian Society of Simulation (ROSOMED) has also recognized the lack of common training standards at a national level, to ensure that best practices in training are operated at all centers.

The main tasks identified by ROSOMED to correct the community’s training shortfalls include:

• Development of educational programs incorporating simulation training;

• Development of standards of objective assessment of acquired skills;

• Introduction of procedure for admission to carrying out manipulations on the patient;

• Training of teachers and trainers;

• Certification of simulation centers (on a voluntary basis);

• Adaptation of international standards of certification for simulation training centers to Russian certification standards;

• Organization of a unified system of simulation training, testing and certification; and • Linking of simulation centers into a national network.

The goal is the creation of an all-Russian system of simulation training, testing and certification in health care and a centralized, interactive simulation training center complex, interconnected on organizational, functional, and information levels and working to the same standards and technology of training, testing and certification.

The System of Medical Simulation Training in Russia

The national system is designed to mirror the administrative construction of the Russian healthcare system divided into Federal, Regional (Oblast) and Municipal (Rayon) levels. Accordingly, it consists of a main service center, regional branches (virtual clinics) and existing simulation centers, connected on a voluntary basis. The main service center is the administrative, managerial, organizational, methodological, and informational hub of the system. On its server it hosts shared educational software used by regional branches and a national database of trainees. The main center monitors and analyses the performance of all branches and maintains an archive of training recordings. The Regional branch is modeled as a "virtual clinic", which imitates the structure (therapeutic, diagnostic and ancillary departments), to reproduce the functions and processes of the medical institution with simulation technology.

“Train the trainers” Program at the Newly Established Center for Medicine of the Future.

The National Center of Innovation Educational Programs Medicine of the Future, which opened at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU), one of the oldest and most prestigious medical universities in Russia, has been tasked with creating a training course and cadre of professional experts in simulation based medical training. One of the center’s goals is to investigate the standards and process of regulation and accreditation of simulation centers by international agencies. This will harmonize Russia’s new national network with the efforts of its global counterparts.

The first of the “new” generation of medical simulation centers in Russia was opened on October 18, 2011 at the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow, Krylatskoe, and is officially known as Attestation Simulation Medical Clinic at the Educational and Research Center of the Presidential Administration (www.unmc.su/masc.htm). The facility is a unique multidisciplinary educational center fully equipped with the latest medical technologies including robotics.

The national plan includes the development of at least one high level medsim center in every federal region - totaling about 83 such centers.

Also of interest, the Russian medical equipment and devices market is already in the global top 20 rankings. This industrials development will give a large boost to the country’s emerging medical simulation sector.

MEdSim will be featuring more on global healthcare education and training developments, including those in Russia, in future issues.