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Simulation-Based Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation in Psychiatry: A Novel Tool for Performance Assessment

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Background: Ongoing professional practice evaluation (OPPE) activities consist of a quantitative, competency-based evaluation of clinical performance. Hospitals must design assessments that measure clinical competencies, are scalable, and minimize impact on the clinician's daily routines. A psychiatry department at a large academic medical center designed and implemented an interactive Web-based psychiatric simulation focusing on violence risk assessment as a tool for a departmentwide OPPE.

Methods: Of 412 invited clinicians in a large psychiatry department, 410 completed an online simulation in April–May 2012. Participants received scheduled e-mail reminders with instructions describing how to access the simulation. Using the Computer Simulation Assessment Tool, participants viewed an introductory video and were then asked to conduct a risk assessment, acting as a clinician in the encounter by selecting actions from a series of drop-down menus. Each action was paired with a corresponding video segment of a clinical encounter with a standardized patient. Participants were scored on the basis of their actions within the simulation (Measure 1) and by their responses to the open-ended questions in which they were asked to integrate the information from the simulation in a summative manner (Measure 2).

Results: Of the 410 clinicians, 381 (92.9%) passed Measure 1, 359 (87.6%) passed Measure 2, and 5 (1.2%) failed both measures. Seventy-five (18.3%) participants were referred for focused professional practice evaluation (FPPE) after failing either Measure 1, Measure 2, or both.

Conclusions: Overall, Web-based simulation and e-mail engagement tools were a scalable and efficient way to assess a large number of clinicians in OPPE and to identify those who required FPPE.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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