Student performance using a computerized simulated patient case: influence on introductory pharmacy practice experiences


Eric Boyce: 0000-0002-5447-9016

Document Type


Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


San Diego, CA

Conference Dates

July 7-12, 2000

Date of Presentation



Objectives: A computerized patient case was used to assess students’ ability to collect pertinent patient data. Student performance was compared to prior experience and student self-assessment. Methods: 152 PharmD students in a therapeutics laboratory course used a computerized patient case that tracks students’ inquiry strategy and assesses performance (Diagnostic ReasoningTM). Pre-program questionnaires elicited students’ self-assessment and number of chart reviews and patient interviews during Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences. Students completed monitoring forms, which were graded by instructors, and post-program evaluations. Results: Students conducted an average of 6 chart reviews (3 independently) and 4 patient interviews (1 independently) prior to this course and rated themselves as “mostly confident.” Computer and instructor performance ratings correlated with time spent (mean: 92 minutes) and number of physical examination queries (mean: 39) during the simulation (P<0.05), but not with number of other queries (patient history, laboratory studies) or prior experiences. Students’ post-program self-assessment of ability correlated with pre-program number of chart reviews and confidence in ability to collect data (P<0.05). Students expressed a ‘high level of interest’ in using additional computerized simulated patient cases. Implications: This program simulated a realistic patient encounter and collected detailed data for evaluating students’ clinical reasoning skills and performance. Student performance was associated with the amount of interaction with the program, but not with previous experience.

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