USC Standard Patient

By USC Institute for Creative Technologies  and  U.S. Army Research Laboratory


Government Category

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Description: Standard Patient lets players practice their interviewing skills on virtual patients with helpful coaching.

Skills and Ideas Taught: Medical interviewing and diagnostic skills. The conversation can go in any direction, and it is necessary to know howto guide a medical conversation to obtain confidence in a diagnosis, rule out other possibilities, attend to the emotional needs of the patient and to do so efficiently. The intent of the game is to practice each case several times as a repetitive practice. With each case attempt, players view very specific feedback that helps them improve their performance for the next play. We have conducted a large study that shows that these skills rapidly improve with repeat use.

Goal or Challenge: For interviewing skills, the game is about obtaining critically relevant information in the fewest questions possible. These goals are enhanced by good use of open ended questions, properly targeted questions and good listening. For counseling, the game is about applying effective communications strategies to influence patient behavior.

Primary Audience: Primary audience includes medical students, residents, independent duty corpsmen and others who need to learn howto interview patients or to counsel them.

Assessment Approach: We collect metrics on diagnostic completion, interview efficiency and some social interactions. Most critical information is collected in ‘green tags’ with normal priority information in ‘blue tags’. Additionally, information relevant to the actual medical diagnosis vs. the rule out of other conditions is segregated in the feedback case map.

Game Engine: None

Operating System:  Web, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Platform: PC

Special Hardware:  None