Oral Themed Presentation
Background: : Communication and teamwork skills are essential for members of healthcare teams, and graduating medical students require education and skill development prior to transitioning into the physician role. Our institution provides these students an opportunity to participate in interprofessional clinical simulations based on the TeamSTEPPS program,.1-3 The in-person simulations are well-received by learners, but due to geographic constraints and limited resources, not all students are able to participate.
Research Question: : Is an online TeamSTEPPS training session including didactics and an interactive, software based virtual simulation non-inferior to in-person didactics and simulation for 4th year medical students in terms of influencing changes in TeamSTEPPS knowledge and attitudes?
Methodology: : We developed an online module containing audio and visual didactic content and an interactive software-based simulation designed to teach and evaluate specific teamwork skills. The content mirrored the standard in-person simulation session, with three iterations of a case of septic shock, with each stage increasing in level of medical complexity. Learners were asked to identify and utilize TeamSTEPPS communication tools during the simulations. After each level, participants received immediate performance-based feedback and participated in a pre-scripted team debriefing session. See Figure 1. Participants in the in-person sessions had in-person didactics, high fidelity simulation and facilitated debrief sessions with team members and facilitators. Fourth year medical students entering into Pediatric and Family Medicine residencies self-selected into the in-person or online training session. All participants completed a demographic and satisfaction survey and TeamSTEPPS knowledge survey before and after the educational intervention and the TeamSTEPPS teamwork attitudes questionnaire (TAQ) as a retrospective pre/post evaluation.4,5
Results: : Of 41 learners who participated in the activity, 31(75%) had matched pre-post teamwork attitude scores. The mean participant age was 28 (SD 2) years with 23 (74%) entering into pediatric residencies and 8(19%) into family medicine residencies. Demographic characteristics (including gender, age and exposure to interprofessional and team training) were similar between groups as were pre-training knowledge (p=0.5) and teamwork attitude scores (p=0.2). Post-training knowledge scores improved significantly across groups (p=0.01) with no difference between in-person and online training (p=0.7). Teamwork attitudes also increased with training across both groups (p<0.0001) with no difference between groups (p=0.17).
Discussion/Conclusions: : Students participating in-person and on-line modules had similar improvements in TeamSTEPPS knowledge and attitudes. Online simulations may be a means to teach and reinforce team communication skills when live, interdisciplinary simulations are not feasible due to resource and personnel constraints.