Nexus Summit 2022 Seminar Showcase: Tried and Tested: Strategies to Implement Virtual Synchronous Interprofessional Education Sessions Using Standardized Patients

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education's picture
Submitted by National Center... on Jul 18, 2023 - 9:25am CDT

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Join us for the Nexus Summit 2022 Seminar Showcase: a free webinar series from the National Center! The highest rated peer-reviewed seminars offered during Nexus Summit 2022 will cover topics ranging from diversity, equity and inclusion, medical-dental integration, cross institutional collaboration, interprofessional systems and structures, narrative leadership, and virtual simulations, among others. Offered between February - July 2023, the Nexus Summit 2022 Seminar Showcase will provide an opportunity to learn from, with, and about the work being done to improve practice, education and health for those we serve.


The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the landscape of interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities for health professions students and educators. Like numerous other academic institutions, our team had to adapt IPE offerings to accommodate an online learning environment. During this webinar, we will share lessons learned while instituting a streamlined virtual learning experience for students, facilitators, and standardized patients (SPs), including: managing logistics, creating clear instructions, and encouraging participation from learners of diverse health profession backgrounds. We will describe how we developed two linked, but separate, 2-hour, synchronous IPE sessions focused on providing team-based care to a patient with ongoing chronic pain who is taking opioids using the cloud-based videoconferencing platform, Zoom.

During the sessions, interprofessional (IP) student teams engage through virtual Zoom breakout rooms to review and discuss the longitudinal patient case, including history, screening tool results, and a mock prescription monitoring program report. Student teams then interview the SP, design a holistic IP treatment plan, and engage in an active debrief of developed problem lists and treatment plan options. Each session encompasses ~20 student teams representing multiple universities and health profession programs, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, social work, addiction studies, athletic training, and others. Since 2021, over 1,500 students have participated in one or both of the IPE sessions. Detailed lessons-learned to be shared include:

  1. Collaborating with IT support or another designated Zoom host responsible for timekeeping, managing breakout rooms, broadcasting messages, and troubleshooting technology issues;
  2. Ensuring student accountability by monitoring attendance logs and utilizing Small Group Facilitators for direct observation of interaction in breakout rooms to maximize collaborative interaction;
  3. Facilitating clear and consistent communication with IP students, faculty, facilitators, SPs, and IT support by creating specific instruction guides, detailed student pre-work, and just-in-time facilitator trainings;
  4. Allocating time for every task, including protecting time for SPs to provide positive and constructive feedback to student teams.

As part of the webinar, participants of the session will:

  1. Reflect on and discuss the benefits and challenges of hosting IPE opportunities for health professions students using a virtual platform.
  2. Share strategies for implementing and scaling virtual IPE sessions involving standardized patients (SPs) and diverse health professions students.
  3. Evaluate opportunities to adopt or improve virtual IPE activities at their institution.


Connie Remsberg, PharmD, PhD, Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dawn DeWitt, MD, MSc, MACP, FRACP, FRCP-London, CMedEd, Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Rie Kobayashi, PhD, LMSW, Eastern Washington University School of Social Work

Skye McKennon, PharmD, RPh, BCPS, ACSM-GEI, Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Connie Remsberg, PharmD, PhD, Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences