Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time: Assessing Responses to Patient Deterioration in Electronic Simulation Scenarios Using Course-of-Action Analysis


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Abstract

International studies indicate that the recognition and management of deteriorating patients in hospitals are poor and that patient assessment is often inadequate. Face-to-face simulation programs have been shown to have an impact on educational and clinical outcomes; however, little is known about performance in contemporary healthcare e-simulation approaches. Using data from an open-access Web-based patient deterioration program (FIRST2ACTWeb), the performance of 367 Australian nursing students in identification of treatment priorities and clinical actions was analyzed using a military model of Course of Action Simulation Analysis. Participants’ performance in the whole program demonstrated a significant improvement in knowledge and skills (P ≤ .001) with high levels of participant satisfaction. Course of Action Simulation Analysis modeling identified three key participant groupings within which only 18% took the “best course of action” (the right actions and timing), with most (70%) completing the right actions but in the wrong order. The remaining 12% produced incomplete assessments and actions in an incorrect sequence. Contemporary approaches such as e-simulation do enhance educational outcomes. Measurement of performance when combined with Course of Action Simulation Analysis becomes a useful tool in the description of outcomes, an understanding of decision making, and the prediction of future events.

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