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Medical Student Appraisal

Journal: Applied Clinical Informatics
ISSN: 1869-0327
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2013-05-R-0032
Issue: Vol. 4: Issue 3 2013
Pages: 403-418

Medical Student Appraisal

Electronic Resources for Inpatient Pre-Rounding

Review

Special Topic: Medical Student Technology Appraisal Series

P. J. Sampognaro (1), S. L. Mitchell (1), S. R. Weeks (1), S. Khalifian (1), T. M. Markman (1), L. W. Uebel (2), J. R. Dattilo (1)

(1) Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; (2) Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Keywords

Application, mobile health, electronics, smartphone, tablet pc, pre-rounding

Summary

Background: Pre-rounding is essential to preparing for morning rounds. Despite its importance, pre-rounding is rarely formally taught within the medical school curriculum and more often informally learned by modeling residents. The evolution of mobile applications provides opportunities to optimize this process.

Objectives: To evaluate three options available to medical students while pre-rounding and promote adoption of mobile resources in clinical care.

Methods: Six medical students formed the evaluation cohort. Students were surveyed to assess pre-rounding practices. Participants utilized paper-based pre-rounding templates for two weeks followed by two weeks of the electronic note-taking service Evernote™. A review of mobile applications on the iTunes™ and Google Play™ stores was performed, with each application informally reviewed by a single student. The application Scutsheet™ was selected for formal review by all students. Data was collected from narrative responses supplied by students throughout the evaluation periods and aggregated to assess strengths and limitations of each application.

Results: Pre-study responses demonstrated two consistent processes: verbal sign-out of overnight events and template use to organize patient information. The paper-based template was praised for its organization and familiarity amongst residents, but perceived as limited by the requirement of re-copying data into the hospital’s electronic medical record (EMR). Evernote™ excelled due to compatibility across multiple operating systems, including accessibility from clinical workstations and ability to copy notes into the hospital’s EMR. Scutsheet™ allowed for retention of data across multiple hospital days, but was limited by inability to export data or modify the electronic template. Aggregated user feedback identified the abilities to customize templates and copy information into the EMR as two prevailing characteristics that enhanced the efficiency of pre-rounding.

Discussion: Mobile devices offer the potential to enhance pre-rounding efficiency for medical students and residents. A customizable Evernote™-based system is described in sufficient detail for reproduction by interested students.

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