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The Power of Virtual Patient Simulation in CME


Brand Insights - Thought Leadership | Paid Program

VPS access for clinicians is critical in today’s healthcare climate

Simulation as we think of it today has been used in medical education since the 18th century 1 and has continued to evolve into realistic and medically accurate physical and digital solutions designed to allow learners to simulate a scenario-based encounter with a patient in a safe environment. Now, as the world continues to adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, making simulation options available to clinicians in a safe home environment, accessible at any time, is more important than ever.

Virtual Patient Simulations
Virtual patient simulation (VPS) is an impactful way to help clinicians learn. VPSs are goal-oriented, case-based, and rule-based, and are a great way to engage learners through active decision-making. The structured format is designed to develop competencies that can be applied in real-world practice. VPS excels at supporting learning through engagement in complex analysis and decision-making with an ever-changing clinical encounter.

The US federal government and biotech and pharmaceutical companies have seized the opportunity to support virtual simulation given the abundance of educational needs that exist due to the pandemic and needs that are difficult to meet in traditional, in-person settings.

MedSims is an award-winning VPS solution from Medscape, having won:

  • ACEhp Award for Outstanding Outcomes in 2020
  • ACEhp Award for Innovation in CPD for the CE/CPD Professional in 2018
  • 2nd place for the Technology Innovation Award at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in 2017

By presenting patient encounters in an immersive multimedia instructional environment, the MedSims VPS replicates real-world clinical practice to allow learners to recognize and diagnose a disease, establish and tailor an individual treatment plan using a robust medication database, and determine ongoing disease management. Immediate feedback is provided to each learner based on their in-platform actions and clinical decision-making.

The MedSims platform is a proven educational solution. The Calibre Institute for Quality Medical Education recently gave MedSims VPS a superior instructional design score, noting its “high potential to engage physicians and lead to improvements in practice (i.e., to achieve desired outcomes).”2

MedSims in Cardiac Care
Medscape Education recently launched the MedSims cardiology activity, “Treating Complex Patients With Stable Arterial Disease.” Learners were presented with two patient care scenarios testing their ability to:

  • Communicate via virtual interview to identify important case information.
  • Order an accurate and effective patient assessment for risk of bleeding vs. the risk of cardiovascular events in complex patients with coronary artery disease.
  • Tailor stroke prevention therapy in complex patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • Develop a patient-centered care plan to improve stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

The 874 learners participating in the simulation showed strong improvement from pre- to post-event assessments. Furthermore:

  • Cardiologists more than doubled pre-guidance performance scores by accurately diagnosing the patient’s condition once expert faculty-authored guidance was presented.
  • Cardiologists demonstrated significant learner behavior change by appropriately tailoring stroke prevention medications in complex patients with stable arterial disease, producing relative change percentage increases in the triple digits from pre- to post-education assessment.
  • Cardiologists also demonstrated significant learner behavior change in all five decision points related to developing a patient-centered care plan for improving stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Medscape Education has been a leader in digital continuing medical education (CME) for more than 25 years, with a current membership of more than five million physicians worldwide employing Medscape for the learning they need. As a trusted learning partner for the medical community with proven ability to deliver education that makes an impact, Medscape is committed to delivering digital CME to learners where, when, and how they want to learn.

  1. Jones F, Passos-Neto C, Melro Braghiroli OF. Simulation in medical education: brief history and methodology. Princ Pract Clin Res. 2015;1:46-54.
  2. Calibre CE Instructional Design Rating Scale™. Calibre Institute for Quality Medical Education. 2020.
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