James C. Coons, Lawrence R. Kobulinsky, Deborah Farkas
Nov 28, 2018
Pharmacy: Journal of Pharmacy Education and Practice
Electronic health record (EHR) technology use in the educational setting to advance pharmacy practice skills with patient simulation has not been described previously in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a virtual EHR on learning efficiency, perceptions of clinical skills, communication, and satisfaction. This was a prospective study conducted in a cardiovascular therapeutics course in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. Students were randomized to use of a virtual EHR with patient simulation or to patient simulation alone (control). The efficiency of learning was assessed by the time to optimal recommendation for each scenario. Surveys (n = 12 questions) were administered electronically to evaluate perceptions of clinical skills, communication, and learning satisfaction. Data were analyzed with the Mann–Whitney U or Wilcoxon signed-rank test as appropriate. Use of the virtual EHR decreased the amount of time needed to provide the optimal treatment recommendations by 25% compared to control. The virtual EHR also significantly improved students’ perceptions of their clinical skills, communication, and satisfaction compared to control. The virtual EHR demonstrated value in learning efficiency while providing students with an engaging means of practicing essential pharmacist functions in a simulated setting.