Dr. Cameron Ricks is an anesthesiologist and is the Medical Director of the Medical Education Simulation Center at UC Irvine. He is a clinical instructor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care. He is also a former critical care registered nurse. His special interest is in training of health care teams using simulation, ACLS simulation courses and simulation for EMS and nurses.

Cameron Ricks (centre).
Cameron Ricks (centre).

Dr. Ricks’ nomination stated: “Dr. Ricks is an associate professor at UC Irvine Anesthesia Department and the founder of SimRated which uses simulation to show us how to learn, apply the knowledge to practice and records us doing the procedure for competency. We then get expert feedback along with a pass/fail. After that, we must show that we can do the skill three times and have an attending sign off on the procedures. Only then are we deemed competent to do the skill on our own. I am thankful that the department uses this, it makes me feel more confident and comfortable with the procedures and overall I think having all the residents go through this process makes us better physicians and clinicians. Props to SimRated, Dr. Ricks, and UC Irvine Anesthesia dept!”

Dr. Ricks founded SimRated with the goal of improving medical procedure competency through the use of simulation-based assessment and tracking. As Medical Director, Dr. Ricks saw an opportunity to create an online platform to facilitate simulation-based education and assessment, improve transparency, and decrease the educator’s workload. Keith Beaulieu (CFO) and Michael Ma (CTO) joined the team in 2017 as founding members.

The Path to Procedural Excellence

SimRated’s path to procedural excellence can be summarized in three steps: Learn about the procedure; learn how to do the procedure; and demonstrate procedure in the clinical environment

SimRated is an all-in-one training solution that specializes in medical procedures. Built by clinicians, simulation experts, and researchers in healthcare it provides a turnkey solution. The online curriculum includes videos of procedures being taught by expert clinicians and validated critical action checklists.

Trainees are evaluated in three steps which include an online exam based on provided coursework, recorded simulation performance graded by expert SimRated raters, and clinical performance signed off by supervising practitioners.

Trainees can track their performance at each step and allows students to learn about medical procedures at their own pace. This information can also be made accessible to new institutions, accrediting bodies, or employers such as hospitals, medical schools, residency programs, technical programs, and nursing schools.

Components of the curriculum include reading material, videos of the procedures being done by expert clinicians, and validated critical action checklists. Before moving on to the next step, students are required to pass an online exam. This prepares students to perform the procedure in the simulation environment which is step two in achieving competency, and ultimately, the clinical setting if applicable.

Professional rater evaluating learner performance.
Professional rater evaluating learner performance.All images: SimRated.

SimRated curriculum has been developed to include simulation practice as a key component to achieving procedural excellence. In addition to the online platform, SimRated provides all the necessary medical simulation equipment for students to get hands-on simulation experience. After students have completed the online exam in step one, students will be required to perform the procedure in the simulation environment. SimRated raters will evaluate performance and provide feedback.

SimRated provides advanced data analytics on student performance to maximize success. Curriculum is monitored to ensure quality and consistency. After passing both the online exam and simulation exam, students will receive a SimRated certificate of completion.

SimRated develops curriculum that spans the entire spectrum of healthcare and is continually adding to their library of courses. They also accepts curriculum from outside institutions that meet SimRated’s educational standards for excellence.

Below are some examples of courses available:

  • Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Placement
  • Arterial Line Placement
  • Basic Airway Management
  • Advanced Airway Management (Intubation)
  • Central Line Placement
  • Urinary Catheter Placement
  • Interosseous Line Placement
  • Hand Washing
  • Surgical Scrub

SimRated’s path to procedural excellence can be summarized in the following three steps:

SimRated’s path to procedural excellence can be summarized in the following three steps:


SimRated has evaluated over 1,500 hours of simulation-based exams comprising 350 procedural competencies. Self-reported confidence intervals increase, on average, 90% after learners complete a SimRated competency course. 97% of learners report that they would like to use the SimRated platform to learn other procedures.

Future Projections

While SimRated is an early stage company, educators and learners continue to express increased interest in the platform and educational methodology. SimRated is applicable for learners ranging from high school students to practicing clinicians. In addition, SimRated is looking for opportunities to work with companies to support education. Our YouTube channel, which will feature our curriculum videos, will be going live in early 2019.

Improved Patient and Provider Outcomes

SimRated benefits providers by allowing the learner to acquire the information at their own pace, receive quantitative and narrative feedback on their simulation-based performance from trained clinical raters, and access procedural videos and checklists for just in time review. The education and assessment of learners is both standardized and continually monitored by SimRated’s internal reliability and validity metrics. SimRated also allows learners to prove their competency to supervising clinicians, hospitals or institutions. SimRated’s educational methodology leads to improved education, assessment, and ultimately better trained learners. We believe this will lead to better patient outcomes and greater clinician confidence.  

Originally published in Issue 1, 2019 of MT Magazine.