Best Practices / Research Oral Abstract

Using Case Simulations to Reinforce Clinical and Communication Skills (O015)

France St-Germain (Sanofi Canada); Alan Bell (University of Toronto); Martin Robert (HIT Global Consulting Services Inc.)


The REACH Academy Program was an innovative case-based simulation activity developed to facilitate improvement of patients at risk for atherothrombosis. As a simulation program driven by peer-to-peer interactions, organizers were able to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvements in learner comprehension and performance.


The objective of the REACH (Reduction of Atherothrombosis for Continued Health) Academy program was to encourage and facilitate local improvement of the management of patients at risk for atherothrombosis.


Teams comprising at least 4 clinicians were recruited to complete the modular simulation program. The interactive program was offered in live and e-learning formats. After completing a pre-test, participants attended 4 small group learning events where a case was presented by a member of the team. Topics included CAD, PAD, TIA, and communication skills. Following each event, participants completed an evaluation form, a post-test, and a performance improvement plan. Finally, three months following the completion of all 4 modules, participants were invited to do a follow-up test, and reflect upon the impact of the program on their performance.


Participants felt the REACH Academy program was an excellent simulation program driven by peer-topeer interactions. Organizers were able to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative improvements in learner comprehension and performance regarding the management of atherothrombosis.


Case simulation activities led by peer moderators allow colleagues to integrate and reinforce evidencebased clinical decisions through the presentation of realistic case scenarios. Using similar simulation models for the assessment phases of the program allow organizers to assess not only knowledge transfer but also comprehension as it applies to practice.

Future Directions

Following the success of this program, a second phase was developed to support the implementation of new treatment guidelines. Interactive simulation activities are innovative and objective tools for teaching and assessing physicians.


Dr. Bell has received research, consulting, or speaker honoraria from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Thrombosis Interest Group of Canada, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Bayer. Ms. St-Germain is an employee of Sanofi.