A virtual patient software program to improve pharmacy student learning in a comprehensive disease management course

Am J Pharm Educ. 2013 Oct 14;77(8):172. doi: 10.5688/ajpe778172.


Objective: To implement and assess the impact of a virtual patient pilot program on pharmacy students' clinical competence skills.

Design: Pharmacy students completed interactive software-based patient case scenarios embedded with drug-therapy problems as part of a course requirement at the end of their third year.

Assessment: Assessments included drug-therapy problem competency achievement, performance on a pretest and posttest, and pilot evaluation survey instrument. Significant improvements in students' posttest scores demonstrated advancement of clinical skills involving drug-therapy problem solving. Students agreed that completing the pilot program improved their chronic disease management skills and the program summarized the course series well.

Conclusion: Using virtual patient technology allowed for assessment of student competencies and improved learning outcomes.

Keywords: clinical skills; learning outcomes; simulation; virtual patient.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Disease Management*
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Software*
  • Students, Pharmacy*