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Standardized Patient Project Wins First Place Award

"Using Standardized Patients to Prepare ‘Super Users’ for an EHR Rollout,” a project by Jeanette Wong, MPA, BSN and Celeste Villanueva, CRNA, both from the Health Sciences Simulation Center (HSSC) at Samuel Merritt University, won first place in the Innovation Category from the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE).

The award was based on an abstract accepted for a poster presentation at the 2013 ASPE conference in July.  The abstract was also published in Simulation in Healthcare, the journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. 

The HSSC was requested by Sutter Health East Bay to develop a simulation experience for the Eden Hospital Super Users (healthcare providers who volunteered to go through extensive EHR training to assist their colleagues during implementation) to have a “hands-on” experience before the system goes “live.”

The experience was designed to use standardized patients because of the realism the encounter will provide. The learner groups were interdisciplinary and included physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and other allied health care professionals. The case was a patient with sepsis requiring admission orders, an initial nursing assessment, a respiratory treatment, and medication delivery. These interventions allowed for an interdisciplinary team to interact with the patient and chart in the EHR system. The encounter was videotaped and then debriefed with HSSC faculty, EHR expert trainers, and, of course, the standardized patient.

More than 90 healthcare professionals participated in the EHR standardized patient training. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and learners understood the importance of patient-focused care and how difficult it can be when working with an EHR system. The feedback provided the Super Users with strategies on how to maintain patient-focused care while working with the EHR; they were encouraged to share the strategies with their colleagues during the implementation phase.

The experience was a unique and effective method in preparing Super Users to be role models for colleagues on how to communicate and continue to provide patient-focused care while utilizing an EHR system.