OAK BROOK, Ill.—The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy’s (ASGE) Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovations (PIVI) initiative addresses the use of endoscopy simulators for training and assessing skills in an article appearing in the September issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, ASGE’s monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal. This PIVI is one in a series of statements defining the diagnostic or therapeutic threshold that must be met for a technique or device to become considered appropriate for incorporation into clinical practice.
Simulator training can provide a student with a relaxed opportunity for repetitive practice of skills including those that might not be encountered with sufficient frequency during the course of a standard training program. Improving basic skills before actual patient experience could result in reduced patient discomfort. Manpower limitations of available endoscopic educators or cost considerations of the increased time that trainers must spend away from their clinical duties would support the use of simulation tools that might either shorten the learning curve or allow students to do more of their instruction independently.
“Although the use of simulators has become much more widespread, particularly via the use of ex vivo–based hands-on training courses by the ASGE at its Institute for Training and Technology in Oak Brook, Ill., and at many regional courses throughout the world, there is no consensus to date on just how much of a role they should play in standard training," said PIVI committee chair Jonathan Cohen, MD, FASGE. “Ultimately, the decision about whether to incorporate these technologies into a training program must rely on data regarding the magnitude of training benefits, any cost savings resulting from accelerated learning, the initial and ongoing expenses associated with the simulator work, and the local needs of the institution."