Standardized Patient Assessment Of Learners In Medical Simulation

By: Holly Gerzina
Submitted by: Valerie Fulmer, President, ASPE

Performance-based assessment is consistent with outcomes-based education, whereby learners can demonstrate the performance of tasks, approach to tasks, and professionalism. Specifically, standardized patient-based performance assessment has advanced to include undergraduate and graduate medical education and is commonly used to evaluate both the technical and nontechnical skills necessary for the safe and effective practice of medicine. A standardized, objective, and structured method of assessment is critical for quality and accountability in medical education and transition to clinical practice. Miller’s prism of clinical competence provides a framework for simulation-based performance assessment of cognition and behaviors that demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes on the continuum from novice to expert medical professional. Similarly, the Kirkpatrick model provides an adaptable framework to evaluate learners acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the simulation lab and the subsequent transfer to clinical practice and actual patient outcomes. Thus, medical learners are commonly required to demonstrate acquisition of skills and competence via simulation before integration into clinical practice. Specifically, standardized patient methodology applied to performance-based assessment has been shown to provide a means of valid standardized objective assessment of learning and clinical skills before clinical practice.

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