WICKED…not the Broadway musical but better!

West Coast Interprofessional Clinical Knowledge Evidence Disseminator

We have begun filming our Virtual Cases which will help teach students the steps of evidence-informed health care (EIHC).  Five modules make up this web-based, interactive, simulated learning initiative which will educate students in the five steps of evidence based practice:

1.      Translation of uncertainty to an answerable question
2.      Systematic retrieval of best evidence available
3.      Critical appraisal of evidence for validity, clinical relevance and applicability
4.      Application of results in practice
5.      Evaluation of performance

Evidence-informed health care is a minimum requirement for graduates of health professional programs and will help practitioners implement evidence-based treatments and maintain a critical attitude in their own practice and to emerging evidence.

This project will help address the research-to-practice “gap” as it relates to EIHC. It takes approximately fifteen years to get research into recommended policy and only 40% is implemented into practice (Antman et al, 1992). It is known that only 30-50% of patients receive recommended care, 30-40% do not get treatments of proven effectiveness, and 20-30% receive acute care that is not needed or that is potentially harmful (Schuster et al, 1998; Grol, 2001).

After testing the modules, and incorporating feedback and improvements, the modules will be made available to all UBC health professional students and practicing clinicians. It is expected that the EIHC modules will be used for both face-to-face learning and as part of a flexible learning approach. For example, the virtual cases can augment didactic material received in face-to-face learning sessions. Students can be given the opportunity to work through the modules before attending classes, and thus build on their knowledge and encourage more detailed discussions during class.

A major advantage of these modules will be their accessibility through e-learning platforms. This easy access will be particularly advantageous to students on placement or practicing in rural and remote regions as they can be accessed via the web at the most convenient time for an individual’s learning needs (i.e. just in time learning). Virtual cases allow for revision of material in preparation for examinations and/or clinical practice.