McMaster University

McMaster University

Developing Practice-Specific Stations

After using the McMaster-Ottawa TOSCE stations available in this Tool Kit, your team may wish to either develop your own stations or use the TOSCE tool methodology with actual patient case-based scenarios from within your practice. Here are a few tips to help guide you through this process:

1. Things you should keep consistent

  • The format — it works!
  • The observation checklist — you don’t have to use both the individual competency ratings and the global ratings. To simplify the process you may want to just use the global participant and team ratings. However, we found in our recent evaluation that observers found the individual competency scoring to be useful.
  • The stem — including a brief (1 paragraph) summary of the patient and the medical problem being addressed is a useful way to focus the discussion on the immediate problem.

2. Guidelines for writing your own stations

Simulated scenario

  • Think of a common topic that is of primary concern in your practice
  • Develop the patient stem to focus the problem that needs to be discussed
  • Draw ideas for the stem from current or past patients
  • Consider the additional information that team members may need (i.e. consultation note; lab report; abbreviated patient chart; information vignettes etc) and start writing the station content
  • If you plan to role play a patient (simulated patient), develop a script for the patient. Keep this information as simple and straightforward as possible
  • Be creative but also be sure to develop a station (patient problem) that would necessitate the collaboration between at least 2 or 3 disciplines
  • Make sure you have input from different professions in your team (on each draft of station)
  • Throughout your station development, consider the IPC competencies you wish to assess to ensure the problem is appropriate for each of these competencies
  • Consider the timing – you want team members to be able to develop the patient care plan within 20 minutes

Real patient scenario from practice

  • Select a particularly complex patient for which you feel team collaboration is needed to effectively address either a single medical concern or multiple problems the patient may need addressed
  • Create a ‘stem’ for the problem(s) that need to be addressed
  • Create team and observer instructions following the format of the McMaster-Ottawa TOSCEs
  • Decide what other information the team needs (i.e. an abbreviated version of the patient chart)
  • Include the McMaster-Ottawa Observer Checklist

Contact us for additional guidance

Let us know if you’ve developed an interesting station that you would like to share with us!

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