The Virtual Community Health Center (VCHC) is an adaptive, engaging, agile education and training platform used to prepare students to enter the healthcare workforce of the future. The VCHC utilizes internet based cognitively engaging virtual patient simulation (VPS) exercises. Before this project, medical student case study practice involved non-interactive, Microsoft PowerPoint-format case studies. Most fictitious patients were anonymous, white, and male. Clinical cases were not situated in community clinics and thus did not reflect social determinants of medically underserved populations. This platform responds to the need for flexible, immersive and comprehensive trainee education that is sensitive to the social determinants of health and emphasizes team-based, compassionate, preventive and chronic care at education health centers.
The flexibility of the platform has allowed the creation of new cases designed to address emerging topics such as interprofessional education, opioid abuse disorder, and medical errors. Future expansion may include cases designed specifically for students in other fields including physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, pharmacy, public health and behavioral health. To date, 26 cases have been fully developed and administered to medical students; three have been administered to residents. These cases cover a broad spectrum of medical conditions and the accompanying social and community factors.
Please read the VCHC manual provided to you by ATSU-SOMA or visit the website for more details.