About the SIMPL Collaborative

Working towards a continuously improving medical education system

The Society for Improving Medical Professional Learning- or the SIMPL Collaborative- formerly known as the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative (PLSC) is a non-profit educational quality improvement consortium focused on investigating and developing tools, curriculum, and policy to improve the training of physicians. The collaborative was founded by experts in surgical trainee performance assessment with the initial support of Massachusetts General Hospital, Northwestern University, and Indiana University, and has grown to include experts from around medicial education and assessment. Since initiating the SIMPL trial in July 2015, the consortium has grown substantially and currently includes 115 training programs at 73 institutions across the United States. We are funded by our institutional members and grants. Our passion is to investigate and combine innovative curricula, best-practice evaluation methodology, and state-of-the-art technology to carry out effective educational quality improvement on a national scale.

An early focus of SIMPL Collaborative was the development and launch of SIMPL OR: System for Improving and Measuring Procedural Learning, an evaluation system that uses smartphones to provide feedback for both residents and faculty. This technology makes it feasible to evaluate resident technical performance for every operation in which a resident participates.  It will also enable programs to characterize faculty teaching behaviors.  This project augments our ongoing research about how to ensure that resident education best meets the needs of patients today and into the future.

In addition to making improvements to SIMPL OR, we have expanded our focus to translate clinical-style quality improvement to medical education. Through research by Collaborative members, we have identified and quantified areas that can be largely impacted by quality improvement efforts. These efforts will get systematically investigated, and targeted efforts to make improvements are made by programs that are working to tackle these problems.