American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons

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Feasibility and effectiveness of smart-phone based evaluations in plastic surgery residency
Faisal Almufarrej MD1, Laurence Lentz MD2, Nava Guillermina MD3
1The Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan, 2The Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan, 3The Michael and Marian Ilitch Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan

Background: The validity of any evaluation process is largely dependent on accurate, specific and timely assessments. However, in the current model, operative competence is based on self-logged procedural numbers and end-of-rotation aggregate faculty assessments based on re-call. Automated smart phone based evaluation systems offer quick and easy way of collecting evaluation data from the busy surgeon. We look to access the feasibility and effectiveness of smart-phone based evaluations in plastic surgery residency
Methods: This study was a prospective, pilot study which occurred over a 6-month period with several attending surgeons in 3 different teaching hospitals evaluating residents of various PGY levels performing procedures of varying complexities. Our department developed an innovative interdepartmental communication mobile application tool (Wayne State University Surgery departmental app) which was customized to include intraoperative evaluations. An initial 1-hour frame of reference training was provided to application users on how to use the smart phone application and the Zwisch grading system. The study started with a pre-study survey of faculty prior to the launch of the application-based evaluation system, assessing the perceived usefulness, ease, weaknesses and barriers of the current evaluation online forms. A post-study survey of the faculty was conducted assessing the perceived usefulness, ease, weaknesses and barriers of the new evaluation method. An unstructured interview of the Clinical Competency Committee was performed to compare the effectiveness of the feedback provided from the new evaluation tool against the previous evaluation forms in assessing clinical competency
Results: A total of 6 residents participated with 5 attendings, with a total number of encounters of 126 for 184 procedures. A 10 question pre-study survey was given, with answers ranging from 1 (very unfavorable, strongly disagree) to 5 (very favorable, strongly agree). The Clinical Competency Committee faculty ranked the pre-study resident assessment tool 2.82 out of 5. Post-study survey, with addition of Zwisch scoring mobile application, ranked the evaluation tool very favorably with score 4.64 out of 5
Conclusion: We found the feasibility and effectiveness of smartphone use in evaluation of residents. But it opens the questions of having a smart phone evaluation tailor specifically for plastic surgery.




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