The following Tips & Tricks can be used to encourage SIMPL participation amongst Resident & Faculty members in your surgical training program. We encourage you to use the Tips & Tricks that are most appropriate to your setting. Please share additional recommendations with us at:

Exercise Leadership

Changing behavior and culture is hard. Programs with the strongest participation results tend to have a “high touch strategy”


  1. Engage departmental leaders to communicate the importance of using SIMPL to trainees and faculty. 
  2. Set expectations early

Set Goals

Reaching goals requires leadership, creativity, and diligence.  Many programs have found it helpful to set internal participation goals and then hold themselves accountable for reaching them.


  1. Communicate goals and expectations to users as part of the launch and on an ongoing basis. We recommend at least 2 evaluations per trainee per week.

  2. Monitor participation at least bi-monthly, send reminders, and follow-up with users
  3. Be a “squeeky wheel” when needed 

Monitor and follow up with users

The admin site ( can be used as a quick reference to determine how actively people are using SIMPL.  Reinforcing behavior with feedback is critical.


  1. Monitor if people are meeting participation goals. For example, using the administrative website you can monitor:
    1. Logins (Users Tab-->Last Login column)
    2. Completing evaluations (part of the Program Report you are sent monthly and also on the Results Tab-->Unique Evaluations column)
  2. Follow up with users who are not meeting your participation goals. For example:
    1. At the end of the first month, individually reach out to those people who have not logged into SIMPL
    2. At the end of the second month, individually reach out to those who have not completed an evaluation
    3. At the end of the third month, meet with those who haven't completed an evaluation

Encourage friendly competition

Surgeons are competitive by nature. Infuse some friendly competition by comparing each PGY to other PGYs, each division to other divisions, or your program to other programs.


  1. Choose a metric (or multiple metrics) you want to track
  2. Choose a comparison group (PGY to PGY, division to division, etc)
  3. Collect baseline data and share with your users
  4. Track metrics on a weekly or monthly basis
  5. Periodically rank comparison groups by your chosen metric and share with users 

Ask faculty to remind residents to create evaluations after each case

Residents are most likely to use SIMPL when they know the faculty member is expecting the evaluation.


Prior to launch and every month for the first few months remind faculty that they should set expectations with trainees that trainees should initiate a SIMPL evaluation following each case.

Ask faculty to provide trainees with dictated feedback whenever possible.

Dictations are the single-most valuable part of SIMPL for trainees, allowing trainees to bring attendings’ feedback with them wherever they go. Dictations are a trainees’ highly individualized surgical education guide.


  1. Periodically stress the importance of faculty dictations to trainee education.
  2. Remind faculty that dictations are intended to supplement, not replace, face-to-face feedback.

Ask trainees to take ownership of their education

SIMPL makes it feasible for trainees to collect feedback on every single case performed during training. Regular SIMPL users will accumulate hundreds of feedback evaluations in a short period of time. Users can then create personal performance analyses with which to compare their performance to program or national norms.


  1. On a monthly basis, remind trainees why they should complete a SIMPL evaluation after each case 
  2. Ask trainees to remind their attendings to expect a SIMPL evaluation after each case



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