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Development of a Three-Dimensional (3D) Virtual Reality Apprenticeship Program (VRx) for Training of Medication Safety Practices

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posted on 2023-08-18, 01:24 authored by Wing Yee Tsang, Petrina Fan, Shakunthala DO Hans Raj, Zee Jian Tan, Irvin Yong Yang Lee, Ivan Boo, Kevin YapKevin Yap

Background: Medication errors is a top concern for patient safety globally. Healthcare staff need to be competent in skillsets in medication safety practices. COVID-19 has negatively impacted programs with on-the-job training. Virtual reality (VR) provides an attractive way to conduct such training. We developed a virtual apprenticeship program (called VRx) for the training of medication safety practices. Methods: VRx was developed in a three-dimensional virtual environment whereby trainees had to complete a series of key competency tasks in prescription processing, pharmaceutical calculations, and preparing, picking, packing and dispensing medications. Pilot testing involved two phases – an alpha-test (Ph1) with 30 pharmacy staff/trainees and a roll-out (Ph2) to 43 new hires at our institution. Participants rated their awareness of VR and perceptions of their training experience through an online self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and Chi-squared/Fisher’s Exact tests were used for analysis. Results: Over half of participants were slightly aware of VR (Ph1 = 63.3%, Ph2 = 67.4%). One-quarter was aware of and had used VR (Ph1 = 26.7%, Ph2 = 25.6%). Majority agreed that VRx was easy to use (Ph1 = 83.3%, Ph2 = 72.1%), interactive and fun (Ph1 = 90.0%, Ph2 = 79.1%), and helped them develop prescription processing skills (Ph1 = 90.0%, Ph2 = 86.0%). More participants who were slightly aware of VR indicated that VRx was easy to use (94.7% versus 33.3% not aware of VR, p = 0.038, Ph1). Over half felt that the time spent on VRx training was acceptable, and that VRx should be part of their training (Ph1 = 80.0%, Ph2 = 67.4% each). More participants who were aware of and had used VR indicated that VRx should be part of their training (100% versus 55.2% slightly aware, p = 0.007, Ph2). Conclusion: Overall, pharmacy staff/trainees found VRx to provide a realistic, engaging and interactive experience to acquire proficiencies in medication safety practices. VRx can complement the training and assessment needs of pharmacy staff/trainees at our institution. 


This research was funded by the SingHealth Learning Technology and Adoption Grant (LTAG) awarded by SkillsFuture Singapore and SingHealth Academy.


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International Journal of Digital Health





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IJS Publishing Group



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© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited, and that the material is not used for commercial purposes. See

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