Simulation center best practices: A review of ACS-accredited educational institutes' best practices, 2011 to present

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Since the inception of American College of Surgeons' Accredited Educational Institute (ACS-AEI) Consortium, accreditation reviews have identified best practices in simulation-based education and center operations. A review of best practices would support the communication of these best practices, offer recognition of exemplar institutes, and facilitate discussion and sharing of resources amongst AEIs.


We examined 5 years of ACS AEI accreditation best practices identified across all standards and criteria. The goal was to identify resources that could be shared among AEIs and recognize AEI champions that have promoted best practices in surgical simulation.


From 149 site reviews (July 2011–June 2016), reviewers identified 197 best practices across 83 AEIs (52.9% of all sites reviewed received a best practice). A total of 52.5% of best practices were associated with curriculum development, delivery of effective education and assessment, and 25 available resources were identified that could be shared among AEIs. The majority of best practices (n = 117, 59.3%) were identified at 24 AEIs, with the highest number of best practices identified at Banner Simulation Center and New Orleans Learning Center (10 each over 2 reviews). Twenty-two other institutes presented 97 best practices, with between 3 to 8 per institute (mean = 4.4, standard deviation = 1.6). Specific best practices, criteria, and AEI champions are highlighted.


Review of AEI accreditation best practices identified common themes for surgical simulation programs and identified tools that could be shared to advance all programs and champion AEIs that have promoted best practices in surgical simulation.

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