American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS AEI Standing Committees Report Back to the Consortium

Currently, the ACS-AEI Standing Committees amidst COVID-19 are moving forward with their agendas and workloads by adapting to the new environment we are working in. Our committees are thinking outside the box to create products and services for the AEI consortium that are germane to strengthening their centers’ programs. The following committee reports are provided to the AEI community twice a year for review.

Administration and Management Committee

The Administration and Management (A&M) Committee continues to break ground with providing its peers tools for innovating back at their centers. In a follow-up to last spring’s Virtual Webinar Series session offering examples of how AEIs are operating their centers within the context of the pandemic, this committee partnered again with the Dissemination of Educational Resources Committee for their Virtual Grand Rounds session on December 3. This session addressed lessons learned from two of our AEIs: Surgery and Emergency Medicine Intern Virtual Trauma Orientation (Carolinas Simulation Center, Atrium Health) and Integration of Telehealth and Standardized Patients with GME, UME, SoN, Hospital Teams and Beyond (Oregon Health & Science University).

Over the summer, the A&M Committee newsletter, Inside the Mind of an Administrator, was refreshed to be better streamlined with other expanding AEI publications, and its archives were moved to the AEI publications webpage. This bulletin is intended to connect and advance AEIs by sharing valuable news and information about operations know-how, best practices, events, and contacts to help readers keep pace with the constantly evolving operations that support medical simulation. Look for another issue after the March annual meeting.

Past Committee Co-Chair and consultant Jennifer Calzada, MA, MPH, was the first administrator to be a surveyor for an initial accreditation this fall during Wake Forest’s site visit. This additional layer to the accreditation program has been in the works since its approval at the 2018 Mayo Clinic PG Course. The A&M Committee is working on how to structure this new role into the current accreditation program. Only A&M Committee members can be selected for the administrator surveyor role.

A&M Committee members are working to renew materials from the postponed Management, Operations, Research and Education (MORE) track to ensure its content is current for AEIs in 2021. This program offers a series of sessions that run concurrently with the traditional annual meeting program, targeting directors, administrators, managers, coordinators, simulation specialists, educators, researchers, and engineers, as well as physicians and surgeons.

For more information on Administration and Management Committee activities, please contact Co-Chairs Jeffrey B. Howells, MS, MBA (JHowel1@lsuhsc.edu) and Melinda Klar, RN (mklar@utmck.edu), or Vice-Chair Jesika S. Gavilanes (gavilane@ohsu.edu).

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is working to meet deadlines for its two projects, which are currently the priorities for the committee agenda. The goal this year is finishing and reviewing the content of these two committee projects in order to begin the next phase of piloting them through selected AEIs by March 2021.

Nehal Khamis, MD, PhD, MHPE is the lead for the Online Curriculum Development tool, a joint collaboration with the Faculty Development Committee, which has undergone several content reviews by committee member groups in additional to two full committee presentations to finalize the details on the tool content. Currently, this project is being uploaded into an ePlatform in order to test the content with selected AEIs.

The Communication Skills Curriculum based on OSCE-based Milestones group is in the process of a committee review of the video content for the three modules under works: Breaking Bad News, Hand Offs and Informed Consent.

The postponed joint AEI Committee workshop, Bottoms Up! Integrating Inter-Professional Education into a Health Sciences Center, with the Faculty Development Committee is scheduled for presentation at the 2021 March AEI annual summit.

For more information on the Curriculum Committee’s activities, please contact Chair Luis E. Llerena, MD, FACS (lllerena@HEALTH.USF.EDU) and Vice-Chair James N. Lau, MD, MHPE, FACS (jnlau@stanford.edu).

Faculty Development Committee

The Faculty Development Committee has made considerable progress with several of its projects since the spring committee report.

Committee Chair and lead Nehal Khamis, MD, PhD, MHPE, with her group diligently worked through several phases with the joint Online Curriculum Development Tool Project this past year.

The Article of the Month (AotM) booklet, Current Trends in Simulation-Based Education, was published and distributed to AEIs this fall. The publication is a compilation of the two AotM series, which were deliverables from the 2015 Faculty Development Committee’s consortium needs assessment study to identify the current trends and needs in the development of faculty simulation educational skills among our AEIs, with the goal of establishing resources to help support these initiatives.

Two committee workshops are planned for the 2021 Annual Summit: a joint committee workshop, Bottoms Up! Integrating Inter-Professional Education into a Health Sciences Center, with the Faculty Development Committee. The popular 2021 FUN Workshop Competition, a session to generate FUN and practical tools that can be used by faculty at other AEIs for simulation-based training, is also on the agenda.

For more information on the Faculty Development Committee’s activities, please contact Chair Nehal Khamis, MD, PhD, MHPE (nehalkhamis@yahoo.com), or Vice-Chair Dmitry Nepomnayshy, MD, FACS (Dmitry.Nepomnayshy@Lahey.org).

International Committee

Although activity in the international simulation community has slowed down due to COVID-19, the AEI International Committee has been moving forward with its key projects.

Committee Chair Evangelos Georgiou reported this month during the committee meeting that a survey was conducted this fall for the Train the Trainer course under works.

The second edition of the International AEI Newsletter was published and distributed to the AEI community in August. The resource will be archived on the AEI Publications web page (hyperlink). The next issue will be available in January 2021.

The AEI International Committee serves to break down the silos among the different AEIs across the globe, by focusing on establishing an active and meaningful forum for participating international AEIs. By joining the International Committee, you get direct exposure to global simulation environments which offer new collaboration and research opportunities. This AEI standing committee is also committed to collaborating on Consortium projects that will enhance simulation-based surgical education to benefit all learner types who come to the AEIs for their training. Contact Amy Johnson, ajohnson@facs.org, for more details. 

For more information on International Committee activities, please contact Chair Evangelos Georgiou, MD, PhD (melatron@otenet.gr), or Vice-Chair Lars Enochsson, MD, PhD (lars.enochsson@umu.se).

Research and Development Committee

The ACS Division of Education AEI Research and Development Committee is advancing its projects through dynamic and effective collaboration with the AEIs to meet project development needs.

ACS-AEI Research Collaborative Webinar Series

In early 2020, the Research and Development Committee successfully launched its research project webinar series for the AEIs. The goal of the webinars is to promote AEI research collaborations by sharing research project information and ideas. The Research and Development Committee plans to host the ACS-AEI Research Collaborative webinars every quarter. The first two research webinars attracted great participation from Consortium members, and featured some outstanding presentations. The next webinar will occur in late Fall 2020. Augustus Gleason, MD, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, will present the research topic titled: Shortening the Learning Curve: Cognitive Task Analysis for Advanced Training in Laparoscopic Suturing (ATLAS) Curriculum. An additional presenter and topic will be announced. Communication about this webinar will be sent out to the AEI community soon, so please consider participating! If you are interested in presenting your work and soliciting collaborators, please send your project abstract to Sallie Schiller at sschiller@facs.org for consideration.

Developing Performance Benchmarks across the AEIs

The objective of the Benchmark project is to develop technical and nontechnical skill performance benchmarks for surgery residents. Dr. Boris Zevin and Dr. Eric Heidel are leading the efforts on this project on behalf of the Research and Development Committee. Currently, four AEIs who attended an informational meeting have agreed to participate. The finalization of the research protocol and the launch of the project is expected soon.

In addition, the Research and Development Research Portal Project is underway under the leadership of Dr. Ganesh Sankaranarayanan to establish a portal that will accept data for the Benchmark project and future collaborative Research and Development projects. Through the coordination of these projects, the long-term goal is to create a National Benchmark and Educational database.

ACS Principles and Practice for Simulation and Surgical Education Research (2014) Update Project

In recognition of the many technological advances in the methods of education delivery and simulation since the manual was created, the Research and Development Committee is investigating the best ways to update and present this information to the AEI community in 2021. Under the leadership of Dr. Brittany Anderson-Montoya and Dr. Ganesh Sankaranarayanan and through AEI collaboration, this project will provide up-to-date materials, including updates to content and additional chapters to address new topics.

Analysis of AEI Consortium Data Project

Dr. James Lau and Dr. Philip Pucher, members of the Research and Development Committee, are leading this new project to review and analyze existing AEI data with the goal of assessing the current state of simulation training across the consortium and identifying effective practices. More information about this project will be provided in future communications.

If you have any questions and would like more information about the Research and Development Committee's activities, please contact Co-Chairs Dimitrios Stefanidis, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS (dimstefa@iu.edu), and Mark Aeder, MD, FACS (Mark.Aeder@UHhospitals.org) or Vice-Chair Sharon Muret-Wagstaff, PhD, MPA (smuretwagstaff@gmail.com).

Technologies and Simulation Committee

The ACS-AEI Technologies and Simulation (T&S)Committee is working to focus on developing emerging standards for simulators and assessment instruments. The committee plans to increase its membership in 2020 to support these projects and expand committee activity by investigating potential areas that can benefit from applying emerging simulation technologies.

Survey in Response to New Methods of Education Delivery Due to COVID-19

The survey conducted in June was created swiftly to assess what innovative delivery methods are used by the AEI to continue their educational programs in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and what new requests the AEIs received from their learner groups. While this survey project was a good collaborative effort, no publishable findings were discovered from the collected information.

Committee Review of the ACS Simulator Industry Focus Group COVID-19-Related Resources

The Division of Education reached out to the members of the ACS Simulator Industry Focus Group and collected information regarding the commercially available simulators that can be used for COVID-19-related training. Once a comprehensive list of the simulator resources was created, the list was given to the Technologies and Simulation Committee for their review. Upon the completion of the review, the list of resources was posted on the AEI website.

Vision and Mission

To keep up with the current trend in innovative technology development and its application in simulation-based surgical education, the vision and mission statements of the Technologies and Simulation Committee have recently been revised substantially. These statements were approved by Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME, and posted on the AEI website.

Vision

The T&S Committee plays a national and international leadership role in developing and implementing evidence-based standards in data modeling and data presentation to ensure meaningful alignment between training, assessment, and clinical care to address current and future needs in health care.

Mission

  • Support translation of educational requirements defined by health care educators to design specifications for teams involved with the development of simulators and other technologies
  • Drive the alignment between simulation-based metrics and performance assessment in the clinical environment
  • Represent the ACS-AEI Consortium in discussions with the greater health care simulation community in the domain of data standards
  • Create data models to integrate technical and nontechnical skills training in the context of interprofessional training
  • Liaise with the growing Advanced Modular Manikin™ (AMM™) community

Committee Project: ACS/APDS Phase 2 Curriculum

The T&S Committee has started exploring opportunities with the ACS/Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) Phase 2 Curriculum. This project will begin with selecting two of the sixteen ACS/APDS Phase 2 Curriculum modules for review. The first goal of the project is to develop standards for simulators that may guide manufacturers to provide better simulators for use in ACS/APDS Phase 2 Curriculum training for surgical residents. The second goal is to develop the assessment tools that can be used in conjunction with the simulators to objectively measure surgical skill performance. The benefit of this project will be the standardization of surgical skills training and assessment across all Residency programs. When it is confirmed that this approach can positively impact the surgical education for the two modules, the same approach can be applied to the development of simulator standards and assessment instruments for the remaining modules. David Hananel, Chair of the committee, submitted the project proposal to Dr. Sachdeva for his review and approval.

Membership Changes

Former Committee Co-Chair Glen Talboy, MD, FACS, will serve as a consultant to the T&S Committee. Three committee members were reinstated for an additional two-year term. Four additional candidates for membership have been recommended to Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, FSACME.

If you should have any questions and would like more information about the Technologies and Simulation Committee’s membership and activities, please contact the Chair, David M. Hananel, BS, BA (dhananel@uw.edu).