Last fall, OHSU received funding from AHRQ to build simulated patient cases in Epic with the intent to teach physicians how to use electronic health records and learn how to make these systems better. This September, the same research team was awarded a grant from the AAMC and the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation that will expand the project to include other health professionals such as pharmacists and nurses.
“This is a grant that, by definition, is truly team building,” said Jeffrey Gold, M.D., an associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, and principal investigator of the study.
Currently, physicians, pharmacists and nurses receive training on electronic health records independent of one another. The screens they see in Epic, OHSU’s electronic health records system, and the data they input are different, so it’s unclear whether a pharmacist, for example, can pick up where the physician left off. This is important because when there are errors in the electronic records or data is misinterpreted, it can lead to patient safety issues.
Dr. Gold and his team will create “fake” cases in Epic with errors purposefully built in and use these cases to test all members of the interprofessional care team. Then, they will create fully simulated ICU rounds, where physicians, nurses, and pharmacists will work together to figure out what’s going on with the patient and how to provide the best care.
In addition to giving trainees a unique chance to practice interprofessional communication skills, integrating data from pharmacists and nurses into electronic health records will make the simulated cases more realistic.
Dr. Gold hopes the research will help better prepare the clinical decision making team to use electronic health records in real-life settings as well as show how to improve electronic health record systems themselves.