Hot Cat has evolved from a paper-based exercise, through an email exercise to the new version, which is a component of Resource Builder.
The purpose of Hot Cat is to provide interactive cases involving cats with 'fever of unknown origin', and mimick an authentic investigative process. The students are given the clinical presentation of the patient including relevant history and images of the patient, after which they can access an extensive list of available diagnostic tests.
This resource is used as a group or paired learning activity. As the student group or pair decides to 'purchase' a diagnostic test by clicking on the test, the results are made immediately available and the cost of the test is deducted from their available funds for the case. The results of each diagnostic test are used to make decisions on the purchase of subsequent tests. Each test must be carefully considered, based on the clinical presentation and the results of each diagnostic test. There is always a budget set by the 'owner' making it important to choose carefully and economically. The diagnostic test page is shown in the picture below. The students have selected the patient's haematology profile, the results have been presented as a genuine haematology report from the University and the test has been marked off on the list. The cost for each test is visible on the right hand side, and with each test chosen, the cost is subtracted from the total allocated funds for the case.
The purpose of the exercise is to further develop and refine the student's diagnostic approach and problem solving skills. The individual student assessment task that surrounds this resource involves each student writing a critique and reflection of the diagnostic approach used by the group, incorporating with the benefit of hindsight all the evidence available to the clinician via the clinical presentation and results of diagnostic tests. Students are also ask to reflect on the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic results in their overall assessment of the case.
Click here for more information about Hot Cat, and how it can be integrated into your teaching.