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SURVERY. 100& of the respondents would repeat the experience

Users endorse the Practicum Script clinical simulation tool

Physicians in Argentina, Spain, and Mexico agree on the positive impact of PS on their practices.

Two small Practicum Script surveys, carried out among cardiologists in Spain and Argentina and pediatricians in Mexico, showed very positive results on the physicians’ perceptions regarding the benefits of the clinical reasoning training simulator. Most specialists surveyed rely on Practicum Script for keeping them up-to-date, open their minds to differential diagnoses, and gain confidence in decision making. Overall, 99% would recommend the course to a colleague and 100% would participate in another edition of the training they had just completed. As an added value, improvements in the hypotheses are one of the greatest strengths of 2019.

Madrid, April 12, 2019. Practicum Script is a clinical challenge tool based on real cases that focuses on decision making in contexts of uncertainty, a value that has been recently confirmed in two surveys. A total of 50 Argentine and Spanish cardiologists, who had completed the training through partnerships with the Argentine Federation of Cardiology and Mylan, and 60 Mexican pediatricians, who completed the course through a partnership with Nestlé, considered Practicum Script to be a good clinical simulation model. In terms of connection with real clinical practice, benefits for patient care, and contribution to specialized training, answers related to the cardiology courses surpassed 90% of positivity, while those by Mexican physicians and related to the pediatric courses reached almost 100%.

If the training model was approved with merit, the advantages associated with the program are not much behind: on a scale of one to five (where five is the maximum score), 98.1% of the Argentine and Spanish cardiologists rated Practicum Script with a score between four and five in regard to improvements in reasoning skills. The same percentage considers that Practicum Script contributes with different valid approaches for the same patient, 88.1% believes that it boosts confidence, and 100% are convinced that it helps them stay current on topics related to their specialties. The answers provided by Mexican pediatricians showed positivity of 98.3% in improving reasoning and differential diagnoses, 95% in boosting confidence, and 96.7% in keeping the users up-to-date.

In regard to duration, Practicum Script takes an average of 25 minutes a week at a pace of one or two cases per week. There was some consensus in the survey regarding the appropriateness of the frequency in which the cases are received and the average weekly time required to complete each case. The total duration of the course was rated “good” (between four and five in the scale mentioned above) according to 96.3% of the Argentine and Spanish cardiologists and 86.7% of the Mexican pediatricians. To the satisfaction of the quality and excellence team of Practicum Script, “hypothesis review” and “technical support” were above 80% in all cases.

Open comments
The approach of the cases and the fast pace of their corrections, as well as their practicality and adherence to reality, were all well rated. Overall, Practicum Script is recognized as an excellent clinical exercise and effective methodology that encourages self-assessment of professional decisions regarding complex dilemmas of daily practice and confrontation of these decisions with those by a panel of international experts. Among many comments, the surveyed physicians mentioned: "accurate range of cases," "modality that fits my schedule very well," "most constructive replies by the experts," "accurate bibliography," "training fit for constant updating," and "teaching opportunity for studying and thinking."

For some, regional variations (semantics) in the medical terminology are the only downside of the course. However, Practicum Script has taken this as an opportunity for improvements this year, committing to expand the available lexicon and the recognition of patterns and synonyms that have been recently implemented in the platform. In fact, the recognition of text through artificial intelligence techniques and machine learning, as well as the development of a natural language processing system, have already been implemented and will be put to the test in the upcoming releases.

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