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Information 2019, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10010028

Designing and Evaluating a Virtual Patient Simulation—The Journey from Uniprofessional to Interprofessional Learning

1
School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
2
Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education and Department of Anaesthesiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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Abstract

“Ready to Practice?”(R2P) is a virtual patient simulation designed for undergraduate medical and pharmacy students. After initial prototyping, R2P developed into a screen-based virtual patient (VP) simulation with an intuitive interface using photorealistic images of people and places with speech bubbles and decision menus. We describe the design of the VP, findings from student experiences with the software, and the potential of VPs for interprofessional learning. We used a mixed methods study to assess students’ perceptions of the VP as a learning tool. Qualitative data were gathered using semi-structured interviews and observations, and quantitative data through the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and an evaluation questionnaire. Overall, participants showed significantly improved RIPLS scores after participation in the simulation (78.78 to 82.25, p < 0.0001), including in the Positive Professional Identify domain (p < 0.001). Students also showed significant improvement in RIPLS scores in the Teamwork and Collaboration domain when pharmacy and medical students were working together in interprofessional pairs (40.75 to 43.00, p < 0.006) but not when working alone (n.s.). Five themes emerged from interviews where participants identified specific interprofessional insights into each other’s roles and skills. Students found the VP engaging and valuable for their learning and their understanding of teamwork. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual patients; education; pharmacy; medicine; health; interprofessional learning; technology; collaborative learning; simulation design; clinical skills virtual patients; education; pharmacy; medicine; health; interprofessional learning; technology; collaborative learning; simulation design; clinical skills
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Martini, N.; Farmer, K.; Patil, S.; Tan, G.; Wang, C.; Wong, L.; Webster, C.S. Designing and Evaluating a Virtual Patient Simulation—The Journey from Uniprofessional to Interprofessional Learning. Information 2019, 10, 28.

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