Category Archives: Uncategorized

Turk Talk on MedEdPublish

Michelle Cullen and the faculty members at the University of Calgary School of Nursing have been making great use of Turk Talk for teaching and assessing therapeutic communication. An article has just been published that summarizes the work so far:

Turk Talk: human-machine hybrid virtual scenarios for professional education 

Cullen M, Sharma N, Topps D, Turk Talk: human-machine hybrid virtual scenarios for professional education, MedEdPublish, 2018, 7, [4], 45, doi:https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2018.0000266.1

Logical pathways in a Turk Talk map

In the article, they describe how they have been able to scale up this approach, its practical applications and utility, and the potential cost savings compared to using standardized patients.

If you are interested in exploring the Turk Talk approach further, please contact us.

QuRE project update

The Quality Referral Evolution (QuRE) project, www.ahs.ca/qure, is making good progress.

QuRE checklist for referrals

The QuRE Project started in Alberta, as an initiative to enhance the quality of clinical referrals and consults in healthcare. With 2.3 million referrals created every year in Alberta alone, the potential for improvements and savings is enormous. Now several other Canadian provinces, including Saskatchewan and British Columbia, are starting to engage in similar and collaborative efforts.

Earlier this year, the Office of Health & Medical Education Scholarship (OHMES) at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, became involved with this project. The QuRE group had some tremendous work to establish an evidence-informed approach to quality referrals and consults. Some educational materials had been created and seminars given.

OHMES saw an opportunity to create a more interactive approach to the educational processes of the QuRE Project. Rather than simply telling healthcare learners what to do, we used OpenLabyrinth virtual scenarios and CURIOS video mashups, along with other educational tools such as GrassBlade, PowToons, to create more interactive materials, with built-in activity metrics and analytics.

This approach will enable us to continually modify our materials (its own quality evolution, as it were), based on learner performance, not just on yet more questionnaires.

What has particularly excited us at OHMES about this project is that it represents an opportunity to study how an educational intervention can have an impact on patient care. For years, especially in CME circles, there have been repeated calls for educational approaches that can actually demonstrate a change in how we provide care, and ultimately, on improved patient outcomes.

One particular aspect of this project is that we intend to longitudinally track, over several years, how feedback and these interventions may iteratively improve the quality of referrals and consults in participating groups. We will have sufficient data to demonstrate useful changes, thanks to the ongoing use of activity metrics, gathered from across multiple healthcare systems.

Vaccine evidence on College Humor

The blog College Humor has created a very amusing, if somewhat coarse, series entitled:

“If Google were a Guy”

As you can imagine with college stuff, some of the humor is quite smutty. But we love this particular segment in the 3rd episode.

You can explore the rest of series at your leisure.

(Sadly the link using CURIOS does not work at present but will be fixed soon.)

Intermittent interruptions

We have an unusual situation where our web server is being clobbered by standard updates to RedHat Linux.

Because of this, we are encountering “Error connecting to database” on an all too frequent basis.

There is a manual fix for this, but a simple OS update should not be clobbering the underlying MariaDB service. We have asked our local support team for a more robust fix.

We apologize for the current patchy service. No data has been lost. And the OpenLabyrinth virtual scenario servers themselves seem to be unaffected.

[Update: 15aug2018] – yay, I think we have a fix. There is an odd bug but, with UCIT’s help, I think we now have a more robust fix. Thank you, all.

Medbiq Conference 2018

We just got back from the Medbiquitous Conference 2018 in Baltimore. Great conference with lots of collaborative projects coming out of it.

There continues to be a high degree of interest in activity metrics and xAPI related projects. In particular, we heard about:

It was noted yet again that we are all immersed in our biases and, despite this, also overly dependent on subjective assessments from teachers. Things have to change.

 

Back to normal

At last, it seems like we have things back to running normally. Phew – that was way harder than we expected. Many apologies for all the inconvenience.

As well as this WordPress site, our OpenLabyrinth virtual scenario server at http://demo.openlabyrinth.ca should be working properly again.

The mail server and forgot-my-password link were offline for several weeks. Apologies to anyone who was trying to get in.

Our other linked services such as our GrassBlade LRS are now mostly back to normal. If you find continued glitches, please let us know.

Service interruption

We plan to upgrade our servers on Thursday afternoon, May 3rd.

You may notice interruption to the following services around the following times 1300-1600 Mountain time:

  • openlabyrinth.ca — this WordPress site and the associated forums
  • curios.openlabyrinth.ca — our CURIOS video mashup service
  • our GrassBlade LRS

Our OpenLabyrinth v3 virtual scenario platform at demo.openlabyrinth.ca should continue to function, but there may be linked oddities at this time, as well.

We hope that these interruptions will be brief (if all goes well and allowing for glitches).

 

OLab3 to OLab4 converter

Yes, we are making steady progress in the development of OLab4.

High on our list is a greatly improved authoring interface, but this will take time to get right. However, some teams are keen to make use of the new features of OLab4 right away.

To facilitate this, we are working on a converter for OpenLabyrinth v3 cases. We estimate that for many current cases, very little additional work will be needed after conversion.

But there are a number of functions and features in OLab3 that are so rarely used that we have decided not to support them in OLab4. For a list of what is going to be deprecated, please refer to the Technical Forum and look for this topic (or use the link below to jump straight there)…

OLab3 items to be deprecated in Olab4 converter

If you are concerned that this might create problems with your existing OLab3 cases and want to use them in OLab4, contact us through the Forum.