Press Releases

Health Minister opens NHG’s Simulation and Integrated Medical Training Advancement Centre (SIMTAC)

18 July 2012 – The National Healthcare Group (NHG) unveiled its new simulation training centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) today. 

The Simulation and Integrated Medical Training Advancement Centre (SIMTAC) is a 1,000 square metre (10,000 sq ft) facility which provides a platform for realistic training scenarios, enabling healthcare professionals to safely and efficiently experience a diverse range of clinical situations for practical training.

Located on the fourth floor of TTSH's Emergency Block, SIMTAC houses an operating theatre, emergency room, intensive care unit, wards and outpatient consultation rooms; each a near identical replica to the real thing. The rooms are further equipped with computerised interactive simulation mannequins which mimic physiological responses of a human being – from breathing and blinking to bleeding and even cold, clammy skin – as well as advanced integrated audio-visual systems to facilitate trainee learning.

Various scenarios from routine medical examinations to emergency resuscitations, and even some rare clinical cases can be simulated in the state-of-the-art training facility. This ensures that healthcare professionals gain sufficient practical training, thus minimising the chance of error with real-life patients and improving patient safety. NHG CEO Professor Chee Yam Cheng is convinced SIMTAC will benefit future medical students too. Prof Chee said: "As NHG is the principal clinical training partner for the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, SIMTAC's cutting edge facilities and NHG's excellent clinician educators will add tremendous value to the educational collaboration between NHG and Singapore's newest medical school."

Professor Philip Choo, NHG Assistant CEO and TTSH CEO feels that TTSH is well placed to serve as a hub to advance the effective use of simulation in education, both for practising clinicians and students. Prof Choo said: "The role of simulation in medicine is an important tool in the education of healthcare professionals. In this controlled and safe environment of deliberate practices, the lessons learnt allow trainees to achieve the demanding measures of competence in knowledge, skills and behaviour."

With SIMTAC, trainees are provided opportunities to hone technical skills and collaborate effectively as teams, added Associate Professor Loo Shi, Medical Director of SIMTAC. "Their actions are observed by educators and peers through a one-way mirror, and captured on video for reviews," he continued. "Through these, they get to reflect on the experience from the session, analyse lessons learnt and formulate thoughts on improvements in future."

In addition to technical scenarios like patient resuscitation or surgery complications, SIMTAC also provides simulation training for doctors to cope with emotionally distraught 'patients', who are actually trained actors. In real life, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers will also have to learn to manage the emotional reactions from patients and their families when told about a difficult diagnosis or protracted illness.

All healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals of all grades, will get to experience such training at SIMTAC. Aimed at the continued pursuit of quality patient care, the centre allows the development of practical capabilities like individual technical skills, communication skills and the ability to collaborate constructively across disciplines in a team. TTSH is the first NHG institution supported by SIMTAC to use simulation for all grades of clinical staff.

Apart from medical training, SIMTAC is simultaneously a test-bed for potential solutions in improving patient care. New and improved treatment procedures or care delivery processes will be tested and refined in a simulated environment, before being applied on real patients in the hospital. Medical teams will also get the chance to develop their collaborative skills in clinical trial runs for effective team-based care.

About Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH)

TTSH is one of Singapore's largest multi-disciplinary hospitals with 168 years of pioneering medical care and development. The hospital has 36 clinical and allied health departments, 15 specialist centres and is powered by 7 more than 6,000 healthcare staff. TTSH sees over 2,000 patients at its specialist clinics and some 460 patients at its emergency department daily. TTSH is part of the National Healthcare Group, providing holistic and integrated patient care. With a strong quality culture steeped in patient safety, TTSH constantly challenges itself to provide faster, better, cheaper and safer care for patients.

To achieve this, the hospital keeps abreast of and believes in investing in its staff, facilities, medical technology and system improvements. In recognition of its commitment to excellent patient care and its comprehensive range of quality healthcare services, TTSH has been awarded the ISO 9001 certification and the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.

About National Healthcare Group (NHG)

The National Healthcare Group (NHG) is a leader in public healthcare in Singapore, recognised at home and abroad for the quality of its medical expertise and facilities. Care is provided through an integrated network of nine primary healthcare polyclinics, acute care hospital, national specialty centres, and business divisions. Together they bring a rich legacy of 340 years of medical expertise to our philosophy of patient-centric care.

By designing accessible and seamless healthcare services around patient needs, NHG ensures that patient care is fully coordinated within the cluster and is also extended to high level collaboration with other healthcare providers at home and abroad.

NHG's vision of "Adding years of healthy life" is more than just about healing the sick. It encompasses the more difficult but infinitely more rewarding task of preventing illness and preserving health and quality of life. With some 10,000 staff, NHG aims to provide care that is patient-centric, accessible, seamless, comprehensive, appropriate and cost-effective.