Evaluating the Attitudes of Pharmacy and Medical Students in a Virtual Interprofessional Simulation on Transitions of Care
Background: Collaboration between pharmacists and physicians occurs in various practice settings including acute care. Interprofessional education involving both pharmacy and medical students is necessary to prepare to practice collaboratively on teams, understand each other’s roles and responsibilities, and communicate effectively to enhance patient care. Pharmacy and medical students working collaboratively in a virtual interprofessional simulation has not been extensively studied.
Design: This is an IRB-approved, mixed methods study evaluating qualitative and quantitative data using a validated tool to measure attitudes towards physician-pharmacist collaboration. Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students at 2 different universities participated in a 2.5 hour virtual interprofessional simulation on transitions of care involving a patient in a hospital with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and osteomyelitis being prepared for discharge. The case was co-developed by faculty at both universities, including physicians and pharmacists. Students completed a 16-question, 4-point Likert scale (ranging from 1=strongly disagree to 4=strongly agree) measuring the attitudes of pharmacy and medical students before and after the IPE activity, with an additional reflective question after the IPE activity to evaluate qualitative feedback.
Results: A total of 41 students completed the tool before and after the interprofessional simulation and reflective question, including 21 (51.2%) 3rd year DO students and 22 (53.7%) 4th year PharmD students. A paired t-test was utilized to compare the means of each question assuming equal variance. Three questions demonstrated significantly higher mean scores of 3.59 to 3.81, 3.52 to 3.67, and 3.52 to 3.74 with p-values of 0.01, 0.02, and 0.01, respectively on pharmacists’ contributions to drug interactions, overlapping responsibilities of pharmacists and physicians in treatment decisions, and physicians consulting pharmacists for adverse reaction or refractory treatment. Students commented on the expertise and perspective each profession brings, increased comfort with interacting with pharmacists and physicians, and importance of IPE in enhancing collaboration and communication.
Conclusion: A virtual interprofessional simulation with pharmacy and medical students is effective in developing the skills necessary for interpropfessional practice.
Implications: A virtual interprofessional simulation is an effective method for pharmacy and medical students to learn the skills necessary for interprofessional practice.
Description of how poster fulfills priority criteria: The poster will more fully describe the development of the virtual interprofessional activity and validated tool to measure attitudes of students in pharmacy and medicine. These can be used as resources for others who are interested in developing their own virtual IPE activities.