Proficiency-Based Progression Training for Clinical Communication

2016-09-01 14:53:21 | BioPortfolio


Importance: Clinical communication is an important source of medical error and preventable adverse events.

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of an online learning programme for ISBAR (Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) communication in the deteriorating patient.

Setting: The study will be conducted in University College Cork, Ireland. Participants: Third year undergraduate nursing and fifth year medical students, who are scheduled to undertake ISBAR training as part of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) programme.

Intervention: Participants will be prospectively randomized to one of three groups before undertaking a performance assessment of an ISBAR communication relevant to a deteriorating patient in a high fidelity simulation laboratory: HSE group (the national e-learning programme only); S group (national e- learning plus simulation training) and PBP group (national e-learning plus proficiency-based progression simulation).

Main outcome and measures: A proficiency benchmark on the performance of ISBAR communication in the context of an acutely deteriorating patient.


The first successful simulation validation study used a proficiency-based progression methodology. Since then the approach has been successfully deployed to produce superior technical skills but has not yet been validated for non-technical (communication) skills. The ISBAR (Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation) has been selected as the standardised tool for clinical communication in relation to an acutely deteriorating patient in many healthcare organisations worldwide, including Ireland.

The aim of this study is to explore whether proficiency-based progression (PBP) could be applied to simulation-based training for ISBAR performance to produce a superior skill set.

The study will compare performance outcomes of students, who receive the national e-learning programme only with those who receive it in combination with either standard simulation or proficiency-based progression (PBP) simulation.

Participants will be prospectively randomized to one of three training groups within their professional cohort (medicine or nursing) before undertaking a performance assessment of an ISBAR communication relevant to a deteriorating patient in a high fidelity simulation laboratory:

1. Online learning only (HSE) -the national e-learning programme only

2. Standard simulation (S) -online learning plus simulation training

3. Proficiency based progression (PBP) -online learning plus proficiency-based progression simulation.

Main outcome and measures: A proficiency benchmark on the performance of ISBAR communication in the context of an acutely deteriorating patient.

All participants will be required to demonstrate a certificate of successful completion on the national e-learning programme within the previous 4 weeks as well as supplying baseline demographic information before undertaking the training.

Performance metrics have previously been identified, operationally defined and agreed upon at a modifed Delphi panel meeting consisting of medical and nursing experts for a series of paper-based simulation cases and a standardised high fidelity simulation case used as the assessment case. The proficiency benchmark for each case has been set based on the performance of experienced nursing and medical personnel on each case as a series of steps, errors and critical errors.

Outcome assessment will be scored by reviewing recordings of ISBAR performance by each participant on the standardised case in the high fidelity laboratory.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor)


Clinical Communication


Proficiency-based progression, National e-learning programme only, Standard simulation


Not yet recruiting


University College Cork

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-09-01T14:53:21-0400

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