During residency surgical trainees perform on average 979 operations

They must be evaluated for just 6...

Trainee preparedness for independent practice is a concern that crosses many procedural specialties, and quality feedback for trainees is in high demand.

SIMPL's mission is to "Establish and maintain the operational, collaborative, data, and analytic infrastructure to support continuous improvement of the medical education system". Our initial goal has been to provide educators and learners with convenient, reliable, valid assessment tools that can be used for frequent, real-time workplace assessment and feedback. The SIMPL OR app provides this platform. Through collaboration by members in 13 specialties, we work to improve the quality of education across medical education.

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SIMPL OR: System for Improving and Measuring Procedural Learning in the OR is a smart-phone based system that makes it feasible to evaluate residents after every procedure they perform.  The SIMPL OR app, used by residents and faculty, is designed from the ground up for efficiency and ease of use while still providing meaningful evaluation data.  Each evaluation consists of 3 questions plus the option to dictate formative feedback.  Aggregated evaluation data is accessible to faculty who can use it to see how much experience a resident has with any given procedure or with a group of procedures.  This knowledge can, in turn, serve to inform a conversation with the resident prior to each operation so as to better individualize both teaching and supervision in the operating room.

Want to learn how you can access to the SIMPL OR app for your program?  Contact us and we'd be happy to discuss SIMPL in more detail!


More detail

SIMPL OR is a smart phone based assessment system that utilizes the four-level Zwisch scale to assess the level of autonomy achieved by a resident in performing a surgical procedure.  After an evaluation is created by any participant in an operation, a notification is immediately sent to the phone of other participants asking them to complete an evaluation for the procedure they just performed. Completion of the entire assessment requires only a few seconds and does not disrupt busy surgical workflow.  Evaluations can also be completed while the user if offline (e.g. in an elevator) and will be uploaded after the phone again has an internet connection.

All evaluation data is centrally stored in a secure database and can be used for further analysis.  Longitudinal assessment of resident autonomy progression can be determined by case and overall. This can be used for both individual resident assessments and residency program evaluations.  It can also be used to evaluate faculty based on the level of guidance and supervision they provide in the operating room.

The pilot version of SIMPL OR (called PASS at that time) was evaluated in the general surgery residency training program at Northwestern University where we demonstrated that SIMPL is feasible, reliable, and valid method of evaluating resident operative performance.  Using the Zwisch scale and SIMPL, researchers have also compared faculty and resident expectations of what level of autonomy residents should be achieving by the end of their residency training to the level of autonomy they are actually achieving.

Interested users can contact us to gain access to SIMPL OR. In addition to the app we also offer consulting services designed to improve both the quality of your faculty's teaching as well as the quality of the ratings collected via SIMPL OR.  These services include hosting a workshop at your institution and/or providing you with materials to implement a rater training curriculum. We highly recommend to have both faculty and residents trained before using the app to assure higher validity of the obtained assessment data.