The Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning (SIMPL) app is an innovative, convenient, and validated smartphone-based tool to evaluate residents’ operative performance. In this study, we describe the initial implementation of SIMPL in our program’s pediatric urology rotation – the first among urology residencies – and provide preliminary data on its adoption by residents and faculty.
Residents and faculty in our pediatric urology division submitted SIMPL evaluations following surgical cases from August 2019 to July 2020. Evaluations consisted of ratings in three domains: resident autonomy, resident operative performance, and patient-related case complexity. An online survey was also used to gauge attitudes towards SIMPL, describe patterns of use, and solicit feedback on areas for improvement.
Eight residents and six faculty submitted 141 evaluations, with 76.6% of evaluated cases having both faculty and resident ratings. Verbal feedback was included in 94.2%. Faculty-resident agreement ranged from 68.6% to 75.2% (kappa=0.47 to 0.61). Faculty rated PGY-4 residents as more autonomous (p=0.040) and higher-performing (p=0.028) than PGY-3s. All participants agreed that SIMPL was easy to use and compared favorably to existing avenues of feedback. Barriers to implementation included lack of reminders for evaluations and evaluation fatigue.
The SIMPL application improved both frequency and quality of resident operative feedback. Among participants, SIMPL was preferred over the existing feedback system at our institution.