Objective. To explore the cost-effectiveness of including standardized patients (SP) in the didactic curriculum for application and assessment of students’ pharmacist-patient communication skills.
Methods. Five role play/case study (RP/CS) activities from a communication skills curriculum were replaced with five SP encounters. Communication was assessed using a rubric. This study developed an economic model to examine the costs and effectiveness of replacing RP/CS events with SP events in knowledge-application and communication assessment. Costs consisted of SP hourly wages for training and delivery of SP events. Outcomes examined were the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per student.
Results. The ICER comparing SP to RP/CS was $100.93 higher per student on first-attempt pass rates and $9.04 per one-point increase in the mean score.
Conclusion. SP was more effective and more costly than RP/CS. Further research into students’ willingness to pay needs to occur before determining if using SPs is cost-effective in teaching communication skills.
Chris Gillette, Robert B. Stanton, Nicole Rockich-Winston, Michael Rudolph, and H. Glenn Anderson, Jr. (2017). Cost-Effectiveness of Using Standardized Patients to Assess Student-Pharmacist Communication Skills. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 81, Issue 10, Article 6120.