CMS International Scholar Develops Echocardiography Simulation

Blog - CMS International Scholar Develops Echocardiography Simulation

During his International Scholars program at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS),  Albert Chan, MBBS, FHKCA, FHKAM, FANZCA, had the idea to develop an echocardiography simulation. This month, his vision became a reality.

“The idea came up during my time at CMS in the winter of 2016, where I tossed the idea around and discussed how to implement it with CMS faculty. Since then, I have been trying to find a suitable ultrasound solution that can help me make this happen, as well as find the right venue to hold this simulation workshop. Finally, the opportunity came up and I was able to organize a 3-hour workshop at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney. Before I brought the course to Sydney, I held it for the trainees at my hospital. In the end, it took me a little more than a year to bring the course to life.”

Turning a conference room into a simulation room, Albert and his team ran a three-hour echocardiography simulation workshop using two SimMan® 3G patient simulators with the Laerdal SonoSim® UltraSound Solution. The feedback Albert received about the program was positive, but he knows that there is still room for improvement.  For example, improving the calibration of the ultrasound probe to avoid disorientation for the learner and the quality of the ultrasound images. Albert would have also liked more time for debriefing. Due to the time limitation of the workshop, the debriefing was mostly on technical aspects, and focused less on teamwork aspects.

Albert knows that his simulation fulfills a growing need as “Transthoracic perioperative echocardiography is becoming more and more prevalent among anesthetists. Current courses mainly focus on basic skills such as image acquisition and image interpretation only, with very little focus on actual application of echocardiography in clinically urgent situations. In real practice, it is in these clinically urgent cases that perioperative echocardiography may provide the anesthesiologist with the most important diagnostic clues for management of patients. Yet, there are certain limitations in the perioperative setting that may preclude or limit the use of perioperative transthoracic echo, such as positioning of patient or the location of the surgical field. The aim of the simulation is to also highlight both the clinical utility as well as the limitations in perioperative echocardiography.”

Albert is an Associate Consultant in the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong. He completed the International Scholars program at CMS in 2018. To learn how you can join the International Scholars program at CMS, please visit: