Purpose: Simulation training is prevalent in aviation and engineering industries, but acceptance by medical providers is unknown. Our objective was to design and evaluate resident physician satisfaction with a simulated diabetes training.
Methods: This web-based learning program integrated these components: (a) 18 unique diabetes learning cases, (b) an interactive care management interface, (c) a physiologic model to simulate outcomes of actions across a series of patient encounters, and (d) a library of feedback messages to critique and guide provider actions. A total of 341 consented primary care residents in 19 U.S. residency programs were randomized to receive (n=177) or not receive (n=164) the learning intervention. A satisfaction survey evaluating program features was completed by 94 (53%) of intervention subjects. Responses to open-ended questions about features considered valuable and areas needing improvement were assessed using qualitative methods.
Results: Likert-scale responses were favorably higher than neutral for general satisfaction (93%), recommending to colleagues (91%), training adequacy (90%), navigation ease (95%), blood sugar displays (86%), drug info and help links (76%), goal progress graphs (49%), and feedback received (81%). Difficulty finding time to do cases was an issue for (51%) of responders. Open-ended responses (n=87) indicated that the most valuable learning pertained to insulin management (n=35), general management (n=23), and goal-achievement (n=10). Suggested improvements included software enhancements (n=34) and nothing bad to report (n=27).
Conclusion: Learning through case simulations in a web-based dynamic environment is rated highly for satisfaction and ease of use by resident physicians. Most would recommend it to colleagues.