HCMP Majors Present Hospital-Based Project Posters

DECEMBER 20, 2012 - As part of their senior internship course, health care management & policy majors present posters that detail the projects they completed under the guidance of executive-level preceptors within a hospital setting.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, members of the Class of 2013 presented their posters during an event in St. Mary’s Hall. Their preceptors and faculty from the Department of Health Systems Administration attended to learn about the projects and to evaluate the posters.

Relevant Learning Experience

The semester-long course requires students to take part in a 16-hour weekly internship at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, which is also where the projects are conducted.

This year’s projects explored topics such as implementation of health IT, raising awareness of fall risk in post-epidural post-partum patients, and 30-day readmission rate reduction.

'Invaluable Learning Experience'

The projects provide a platform for the students to learn about the very complex environment of care delivery in today’s hospitals.

“The poster presentation is an excellent way for students to demonstrate application of knowledge and experience gained through their internship experiences, and it is also a wonderful opportunity for them to continue to develop their presentation skills through conversations with preceptors and faculty,” said Patricia Cloonan, PhD, who chairs the department. “Working in the hospital and then capping the experience with the poster presentation is an invaluable learning experience that contributes to the richness of our program.”

The Student Perspective

Guided by their preceptors, students navigate through the project – an experience that also provides them with opportunities to see the responsibilities and challenges that health administrators face each day.

Mary McGroarty (NHS’13) completed her internship in the hospital’s Department of Plastic Surgery, and her project focused on revenue cycle using Lean Six Sigma methodology.

“This project gave me the opportunity to work with graduate students to learn more about Lean Six Sigma and how it is a beneficial tool to use in health care settings in order to reduce waste and make systems more efficient,” McGroarty said. “My internship experience gave me real-world exposure to what happens in health care settings and has given me a new perspective that has complemented what I have learned in the classroom over the past three and a half years.”

Excellent Experience

Fellow senior Lauren Cournoyer (NHS’13) completed her internship in the hospital’s Department of Surgery and said that she approached the internship with two primary goals – to understand who and what makes an out-patient clinic function and to gain a clinical perspective on patient experience.

Cournoyer’s project is titled, “The Patient Instruction Sheet & Clinic Workflow Process,” and provided her with opportunities to explore both areas of interest while also allowing her to achieve her learning goals.

“This experience exponentially added to my education in the HCMP program by putting the concepts and issues I'd learned about in the classroom into a practical context, and it solidified my future career goals to become a physician and hospital administrator,” Cournoyer said. “I gained more from my experience as an intern in the Department of Surgery over the course of the semester than I could have anticipated.”

By Rebecca Warren