My On Call (MOC) Pager App

Dr. Nada Gawad
Joule Innovation Grant recipient
Social innovation

About the innovation

My On Call (MOC) Pager App is a simulated pager program designed to help senior medical students and residents practice safe clinical decision-making (CDM). It also serves as an assessment tool for training programs. The goals for the app are to ease the gap in role transition and to practice safe CDM for each role.

To use the MOC Pager App, learners are given a list of virtual patients with clinical information founded on common cases. The list contains each patient’s diagnosis, course in hospital, and past medical history. Learners receive “pages” from the app with common on-call issues based on a virtual patient’s pertinent information in a format like an inquiry from the ward. After each page, the learner also receives a question asking how they would respond―i.e. give phone orders, see the patient when they have time, see the patient immediately, call the senior for help, or call the appropriate service for help (anesthesia, ICU, etc.). This exercise helps the learner consider their level of confidence, patient safety, and when to ask for help. Pages are sent in a random order and at unknown times to simulate the multi-tasking skills required on wards. Once opened, each “page” has to be answered within 2 minutes―simulating the need for time-sensitive decision-making and resourcefulness.

The MOC Pager App is unique in its real-time approach, integrating prioritization, time management and efficiency with no risk to real patients. As the first and only existing simulated pager app, the MOC Pager App pushes the boundaries of technology in medical education to address the currently unmet need of practicing and assessing CDM. The ultimate goal is to improve patient safety.

The app was successfully piloted in the uOttawa Perioperative Management elective from 2016-2018, followed by implementation at the National Cardiac Surgery Bootcamp.