W. Altreche-Bernal

University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus (PUERTO RICO)
The University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Medical Sciences Campus (MSC) Master in Health Services Administration (MHSA) Program aims to train highly qualified health services administrators for leadership positions in the health care delivery system. Its curriculum highlights the development of competencies, knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors using an interdisciplinary approach for the solution of problems in the health care field. As required by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the health services administrators’ education curriculum must include competencies and learning objectives regarding patient safety, risk management and continuous quality improvement. Continuous Quality Improvement for Health Services Organization Course (CQIc) is offered to second-year students and emphasizes on the application of continuous quality improvement and patient safety methods, indicators and tools to healthcare organizations. A Role Play Simulation (RPS) approach was introduced in the CQIc as a complementary teaching-evaluation method to achieve the competencies and learning objectives. The objectives of this activity were: apply concepts and knowledge learnt in class; testing competencies; recognize the role and significance of all health care organization components in developing and promoting quality improvement and patient safety; identify contributing factors for errors and adverse events; value the commitment of health services administrators with continuous quality and patient safety; and improving team dynamics and communication. Students were divided in groups of 6 students. Each group was required to identify and recreate a real patient safety problem or quality situation in a health service organization. It included the development of the script, scenography, character creation and role play. Three plays were created by the students in the areas of medication error, failure in properly clean hands, and delay in the radiology department. An acting professor was available to guide and advise the students in acting and script development. Finally, students completed a self-reflection exercise. Students emphasized that the activity was very helpful and rewarding. Many of them stated that this strategy helped them gain and improve self-confidence related to health services administration practice and crisis management. Students also identified RPS to be very beneficial because it helped them integrate and apply not only the concepts learned in the CQIc, but also those obtained throughout the entire program. RPS is a valuable strategy to educate health professional leaders, as health services administrators, who deploy extremely challenging managerial scenarios. As an educational strategy, PRS allows students to face situations, they will need to manage as new practitioners, in a controlled, learner-focused educational environment that mimic real-life situations and experiences where they can make mistakes and see the consequences without risking patient harm. It also provides an immersive and experiential learning opportunity promoting critical thinking and multidisciplinary team development. In addition, PRS creates a memorable learning experience facilitating knowledge retention. As an evaluation method PRS has the ability to distinguish between adequate and inadequate student performance, which traditional methods of testing are limited to.