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

ACS AEI Best Practices Analysis of What Is Important in Developing a Successful Simulation Program Is Published in Surgery

The overarching goals of the AEI Program, in addition to promoting patient safety through the use of simulation, are to develop new education and technologies, to identify best practices, and finally, to promote research through cutting-edge scholarship among our institutes. With those goals in mind, a Best Practices Committee was started to share best practices as noted by the Accreditation Review Committee (ARC). Best practices were compiled into a list starting in 2011 for dissemination to all members of the ACS-AEI Consortium through online videos, newsletters, and workshops at the Annual ACS Surgical Simulation Summit.

In 2019, it was the idea of Dr. James Cooke, the AEI Director from the University of Michigan, to look at the collected best practice data to identify any themes or take-aways that could be shared widely with the AEI community and the surgical simulation education community.

Using thematic analysis, the authors classified common themes from the 337 best practices identified during 247 accreditation reviews between June 2011 and June 2019. As best practices were extracted, the authors compiled them into a single database. Eight overarching themes were identified, including approaches to faculty development, scholarly activity, development of curricula, use of resources, delivery of educational content, assessment of learners, and collaboration between centers. The authors discuss themes in the context of their practical relevance and highlight strategies used at different centers, with an emphasis on the importance of each theme in developing a successful simulation program.

As a result of this project, it was determined the findings should be shared with colleagues who are involved in surgical education, and a manuscript was submitted to the journal Surgery for consideration.

The manuscript was accepted and will be published in the November edition of Surgery. Please note the full text is available on the Elsevier website through December 10.