Planning and Developing Virtual Patients – A team approach.

April 9, 2013 8:00 – 9:30am

James Barry McGee, MD1,  Anya Andrews, PhD2,  Michael Eakins2,  Esther Beltran, MD2,  David Metcalf, PhD2
1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2University of Central Florida

Early virtual patient (VP) cases were often a product of highly motivated educators and technicians working on a disease-specific, focused project, delivered as an adjunct to the core curriculum. Now that VPs are moving into the mainstream of education, with organizations like the Veterans Health Administration and professional societies rolling out programs for large audiences, a scalable and sustainable approach to planning and developing VPs is needed. This presentation will primarily focus on the processes and personnel necessary to efficiently plan, develop and deliver VP cases on time and on budget. The specific components to be discussed are: " Planning using VPs for the right reasons, for the right audience and at the right time, " Using a public-domain template as a pre-development guide, " Storyboarding and brainstorming using visualization tools, " Forming the right transdiciplinary team, " Story writing and incorporating media to authentically enhance learning with drama, emotion, and visuals, and " Communicating and coordinating between team members, while adhering to an agile development plan. Using real-life examples, the authors will share their methods for case development that address the educational needs of the intended audience and result in engaging, entertaining and interactive learning experiences.