eOSCE is a simple and efficient system to enable practical medical examinations (especially OSCEs) to be carried out without resorting to paper checklists. Assessments using our system are quicker to evaluate and have less erroneous or missing data. Our research also shows that examiners prefer using our examination client over paper checklists and that students aren’t graded differently than when using traditional assessment methods.Our eOSCE system consists of three components. There is an easy to use iPad app which enables examiners to assess the candidates performance. Then there is a Mac OSX desktop app which is used to schedule and prepare the examination data. Finally there is a mobile iPhone app that can be used to monitor the examination state and alerts the administrator in case of any technical problems. All examination data is digitally encrypted and stored securely and reliably on a server.

 

Benefits of going digital

In Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) medical students rotate around a series of stations in the hospital ward. At these stations, the candidates are asked to perform a procedure with a standardized patient (e.g. perform an anamnesis) or with an anatomical model (e.g. clinical examination). The student’s performance is observed and scored by an examiner using a standardized checklist. The students’ final scores are usually calculated based on the score sheets handed in by every examiner. OSCE is used as an clinical assessment method in many medical schools around the world.

Why eOSCE

Because carrying out OSCEs requires a lot of effort, they are also one of the most expensive examination methods: checklists and examination schedules must be created, verified and printed, standardized patients must be recruited and trained. When examiners use paper based checklists, all results must first be scanned before any evaluation can take place. Up to 60% of paper checklists must be manually verified since they contain some kind of unreadable or missing data. This unsatisfactory process has motivated us to start a new project called eOSCE.

Remote Backup

eOSCE, which is short for Electronic Registration of Objective Structured Clinical Examination, aims for a more efficient and entirely digital preparation, execution and analysis process of OSCEs. The eOSCE system uses a server to store encrypted examination files. It allows for a simple, fast, inexpensive and highly scalable way of backing up valuable examination data. It is important to note that all data stored on the server has been previously encrypted and therefore is not readable by anybody who might gain access to it.

Try the Apps on the App Store

OSCE-Eval and OSCE-Track Apps are available as a free download on the Apple App Store. We would like to invite you to try them out for yourself!

OSCE Track for iPhone

OSCE-Track

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OSCE-Track allows exam administrators to track the progress of an OSCE as it happens using only an iPhone, iPod Touch or an iPad.

Download OSCE-Track on the App Store

OSCE Eval for iPad

OSCE-Eval

OSCE-Eval is the iPad app for practical medical examinations without paper checklists.


Download OSCE-Eval on the App Store

OSCE Editor for Mac OS X

OSCE-Editor

OSCE-Editor helps you prepare examinations and the checklists right on your Mac.


Available on request

 

eOSCE Exam Lifecycle

The illustration below shows which components are used during which phases of an electronic examination
(preparation, execution and evaluation).

phases

 

eOSCE Requirements

 

iPads

To use our eOSCE system your institution will need to provide (at least) one Apple iPad (WiFi only or Cellular) per OSCE examination station. Apple iPads cost less than $500 per device (without any bulk purchase rebates). After extensive hardware evaluation in 2010 we found the iPad to be the best available hardware tablet device for this purpose. Especially because of its size, weight and battery performance.

Mac

To prepare and make changes to the examination schedule you’ll need to run our eOSCE administrator component on a Apple Computer. Any Device running OSX Mavericks will do. We have decided to use a native application to ensure the exam can be prepared and changed without requiring Internet connectivity.

iPhone or iPod Touch

For an administrator to monitor the examination progress we found a mobile app to be the most useful. An iPod touch costs less than $200 and enables the administrator to roam the ward freely during the examination (iOS 7 required).

Internet (optional)

To use our eOSCE system efficiently the hospital ward should ideally offer Internet connectivity (optional but strongly recommended). While our system does support offline operation, we have found that managing each iPad individually is rather cumbersome. Having internet connectivity means that the iPads can wirelessly and automatically back up the encrypted exam data to the server. It also makes it massively easier to initially distribute the empty exam forms.