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Virtual Interactive Case

What is Virtual Interactive Case (VIC)?

The VIC system is software for creating simulations of patient encounters in clinics. Developed by Dr. Gordon Tait and Tabby Lulham from the Perioperative Interactive Education (PIE) team at University Health Network, VIC allows the user to take the patient’s history, conduct a functional assessment and physical exam, order appropriate laboratory tests, review diagnostic images, and consult with specialists in gathering the information to arrive at a diagnosis that accounts for the presenting complaint. After selecting the diagnosis and treatment, the program provides a debriefing, listing the actions they took that were essential, actions that were missed, actions that were inappropriate, and actions done in an incorrect order. A score is provided reflecting their performance, along with the time and cost incurred in arriving at the diagnosis. Their score, time and cost can then be compared to that of an experienced clinician.

The cases can include multimedia (images, sounds and video) in the results of actions taken by the user. The VIC Editor allows rapid creation of customized cases by modifying a template case, and by dragging and dropping actions from other cases. The VIC cases can also be used for student evaluation by activating a log tracking the user’s actions and their debriefing and score.

How is VIC different?

VIC differs from most other virtual patient software in that feedback is provided in a debriefing at the end of the case, rather than at each step in assessing the patient. Educators can use the VIC Editor to create customized cases designed to focus on scenarios relevant to their profession and work environments. VIC cases are intended for “drill and practice” after the learner has acquired the necessary didactic knowledge, allowing them to exercise their clinical reasoning skills and implement their knowledge in realistic scenarios.

The VIC Player is a Flash application, and the case information is an XML file on the users’ hard drive, eliminating the requirement for a database connection for editing and playing cases. VIC cases can be played on the users’ computer or placed on a Web server for access over the Internet.

To find out more about VIC, how to buy a license, and other educational tools developed by PIE in the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management at Toronto General Hospital, please visit: http://pie.med.utoronto.ca/vic