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Use of a Medical ITS Improves Reporting Performance among Community Pathologists

Rebecca Crowley, Dana Grzybicki, Elizabeth Legowski, Lynn Wagner, Melissa Castine, Olga Medvedeva et al.

In previous work, we have developed an advanced medical training system based on the cognitive ITS paradigm. In multiple laboratory studies, we showed a marked performance improvement among physicians in training. We now report on the evaluation of our tutoring system as a potential patient safety intervention among practicing community physicians. Fourteen community pathologists were matched for years of practice, and then randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Participants in the intervention group used the tutoring system for a total of 4-19 (mean 11.5) hours over 1-4 (mean 3.1) sessions over a period of 37-138 (mean 86) days. Participants in the control group studied standard continuing medical education (CME) materials for a similar amount of time over a similar interval. All participants took glass slide pre-tests and post-tests, and virtual slide interval tests. Participants in the intervention group showed a significant improvement in the completeness of their surgical pathology reports when compared to the control group (p<.001, RM-ANOVA). There was no significant gain for diagnostic reasoning, likely due to the already high performance levels and small number of participants.

The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-13388-6_38.