Healthcare Simulation in Resource-Limited Regions and Global Health Applications
The benefits of healthcare simulation in resource-limited regions and for global health applications parallel to those that have been demonstrated in resource abundant, technologically advanced locales. These include safety advantages realized by the opportunities that simulation provides to clinicians to prepare, learn, practice, rehearse, and improve clinical performance without adversely impacting patient care. Benefits also include opportunities to improve healthcare quality by facilitating the development and testing of novel devices, techniques, procedures, equipment, and process efficiencies without adversely impacting patient care. Healthcare simulation provides alternatives to remedy ethical considerations associated with accomplishing these objectives by using animals or during the provision of actual patient care. It also provides a foundation for enhanced, lower cost, and more effective training of clinicians in every clinical specialty by facilitating the development of mastery-based instruction and standards-based practices. The needs for these advantages are in many ways more pronounced in resource-limited regions and global health applications because the gaps between the means of service providers to deliver safe, high-quality healthcare and the abilities of patients to access that care are wider and more difficult to bridge than in more developed regions of the world. In addition to the benefits simulation brings to affluent, technology-centered societies, simulation adds value for resource-limited rural and remote regions of the world in the following three areas: (1) rapidly preparing entry-level providers and facilitating career development opportunities through academic institutions; (2) developing the abilities of community-based providers (traditional healers, teachers, village and tribal leaders) to work in partnership with professional providers; and (3) bridging the gaps of understanding between professional health services providers and local populations who mistrust modern medicine.