RVU Office of SIMS Expands Virtual Patient Encounters

by Kelsey Link, MA, Coordinator for Office of SIMS

Prior to COVID-19, the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS) had been laying the groundwork to build a greater balance between simulation modalities—including task trainers, electronic manikins, and both live and virtual standardized patients. The rapid shift to online course delivery reinforced this idea, and the Office of SIMS is now equipped to offer patient scenarios using virtual reality, screen-based technology, and telehealth cases with live standardized patients.

Oxford Medical Simulation Virtual Reality
Oxford Medical Simulation provides immersive clinical scenarios in both virtual reality headsets and 2D computerbased versions. Users can address patients suffering from sepsis, asthma, heart failure, mental health concerns, and more, all while being scored in real-time based on their clinical reasoning. Each scenario provides feedback to the learner and can be repeated indefinitely.

The Office of SIMS partnered with Oxford to complete a 60-day trial of the virtual medical cases. Over 450 users participated in the trial, including faculty and students from all three programs and on both campuses. In the collected feedback, students and faculty commented positively on the relevance of the scenarios, repetition and deliberate practice, and confidence-boosting effects of having cases available to them at any time. Over 500 patient cases were completed throughout the trial, totaling a time of 4 days and 8 hours.

The RVU Board of Trustees approved the implementation of Oxford Medical Simulation into the curriculum. Second-year students in COM and PA, as well as MSBS students on both campuses will be provided with a one-year license for Oxford Medical Simulation cases hand-selected by their faculty instructors. Additionally, the Office of SIMS will hold an institutional license and virtual reality headsets available for training, events, and clubs.

SIMULATIONiQ Virtual OSCE software provides video-based patient encounters. Students can complete telehealth cases with live standardized patients that connect remotely over the computer with the ability for faculty to observe and assess their performance.

The Standardized Patient Program successfully implemented virtual OSCEs for the PA Class of 2021. Exam rooms were staged with a CPR manikin and a skeleton which the students used as ‘patients.’ The CPR manikin had an injection trainer pad attached to it for students to perform a procedures case. The students then used the CPR manikin and skeleton to perform a physical exam and verbalize their findings. Live standardized patients were set up remotely on the computers in the exam rooms to communicate and interact with students, while PA faculty observed and graded the interactions.

For more information on the Oxford Medical Simulation platform, SIMULATIONiQ Virtual OSCE, or other Office of SIMS offerings, please contact Dr. Susan Carter at scarter@rvu.edu.

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