JULY 16, 2015 – For more than a decade, the O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center at the School of Nursing & Health Studies has offered educational opportunities to support clinical education—ranging from high-fidelity patient simulators to live standardized patients.
Now, with the recent addition of new software and video monitoring capabilities, the 4,800-square-foot facility in St. Mary’s Hall has stepped up its commitment to innovative experiential education.
The upgrade allows faculty members, either in real time or via video, to monitor student engagement with standardized patients. It also introduces into the simulation center an electronic health record (EHR) system that is specifically geared toward student learning.
Electronic Health Record
“It’s a really cool feature,” says Kelli Giffin, MSN, RN, who manages the center and works alongside Patrick Sheahan, MS, clinical simulation technician.
She notes that the introduction of this type of education-focused EHR, a product of the company Education Management Solutions, is relatively unique within the world of nursing education. “That is the beauty of this electronic health record,” she says. “It’s to be used for education. That is huge in the simulation world.”
With the new system, Giffin and Sheahan explain, professors are able to create mock health records for diverse patient populations. Then their students, working with the simulators and standardize patients, implement orders, including dispensing medication, and conduct patient assessments, such as a neurologic assessment of an adult female.
Faculty members review the completed records for accuracy and completeness, as well as corresponding videos to ensure students actually did the work reflected in the record.
“Up until now, faculty members have had to use paper and pencil records and watch videos on thumb drives,” Giffin says. “When we looked at that system, it just seemed so antiquated.”
As part of the upgrade, four exam rooms have been newly outfitted with two video cameras each that sync directly with the software system, allowing faculty members to review the students’ learning activities as they happen or at a later time.
“Our school is well known for its commitment to providing students with meaningful opportunities for learning inside and outside of the classroom,” says Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, the school’s interim dean. “Enhancing experiential learning is a key priority of our strategic plan, and this new technology in the simulation center is a big step in the right direction.”
By Bill Cessato