A large part of educating health professions students is preparing them for future practice. Much of today’s healthcare environment relies on technology, particularly an electronic health record (EHR). The Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center has felt the challenge of providing this opportunity to the students who participate in simulation. For the past several years, documentation during simulation events occurred through the use of paper charts, which is not consistent with current practice. Partnerships with area health care facilities for use of their electronic medical records in a training mode have been unsuccessful and the purchase of a simulated documentation system was not a cost effective solution.
For all of these reasons, the staff at the Sim Center developed their own version of an EHR using advanced features available within PowerPoint. With inspiration from PowerPointbased quiz games employed in many classrooms, Catherine Pearce and Deanna Schloemer created enhanced PowerPoint slides that are linked to one other and look and act like a patient’s electronic health record. The advanced features embedded in the PowerPoint slides allow students to interact with the EHR synchronously as the simulation unfolds.
Patient data within the simulated EHR comes from a variety of sources and are modified to reflect the needs of the scenario being used in a simulation. For example, the pediatrics nursing course uses case studies from CAE’s evidenced-based clinical simulation experiences titled “Program for Nursing Curriculum Integration” (PNCI®). While the CAE PNCI case studies are designed to work with high-fidelity manikins, there was no integrated EHR to mimic what occurs with real patient encounters. The simulation coordinators integrated the patient information contained within the PNCIs into the simulated EHR. In addition, the simulated EHR has been designed in such a way that other scenarios, whether written by faculty or other commercial sources, can be easily incorporated and used in simulations.
Various tabs such as patient summary, laboratory and diagnostic test results, assessment flowsheet, progress notes, provider orders, medication administration record, and resources are available in this simulated EHR. As it is built by the simulation coordinators, tabs and flowsheets are customizable to different disciplines or simulated healthcare settings.
Documentation during simulation can improve learners’ proficiency with electronic documentation upon entrance into the clinical setting after graduation (Herbert & Connors, 2016; Curry, 2010). Simulation provides these future professionals with a safe space to refine their skills in data collection, patient care planning, and documentation (Mountain, 2014). Having a place to document during simulation will also give faculty an opportunity to assess learners’ competency. It is our hope to provide every simulated experience necessary to ensure that graduates from Salisbury University are well prepared for entry into the workforce.