(HealthDay)—Most anesthesiologists participating in a Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program simulation course are implementing practice improvements, according to research published in online March 12 in Anesthesiology.

Randolph H. Steadman, M.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues describe anesthesiologists' practice improvements undertaken during the first three years of simulation activities for the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program. Six hundred thirty-four of 1,275 participants in simulation courses were assessed from academic, community, and military/other settings (41, 54, and 5 percent, respectively).

On follow-up, the researchers found that 79 percent of the 1,982 practice improvement plans were fully completed, 16 percent were partially completed, and 6 percent were not completed within the 90-day reporting period. Eighty-nine percent of plans targeted the reporting individual, and 78 percent of plans targeted others: anesthesia providers, non-anesthesia physicians, and non-anesthesia non-physician providers. Thirty-three percent of improvements were categorized as work environment or systems changes, 30 percent teamwork skills, 29 percent personal knowledge, 4 percent handoff, 3 percent procedural skills, and 1 percent patient communication. For each participant's combined plans the median word count was 63, while for improvement follow-up reports the word count was 147.

"After making a commitment to change, 94 percent of anesthesiologists participating in a Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program course successfully implemented some or all of their planned practice improvements," the authors write. "Simulation experiences stimulate active learning and motivate personal and collaborative practice improvement changes."

Several authors receive compensation for serving as Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program course instructors.