Nursing, Engineering Invention Launches; Improves Nurses Worldwide

DocucareA joint endeavor between the colleges of nursing and engineering has been launched as a new product to help build a better workforce of health professionals worldwide.

Called Lippincott’s DocuCare EHR, the new product integrates electronic health records (EHR) commonly used in hospitals and medical offices into a simulated learning tool for students. Proficiency using EHR is paramount for nursing students as the Obama administration has challenged health care providers nationwide to transition to this new technology.

The device was developed by Tami Wyatt, associate professor of nursing, and her graduate student Matt Bell (now an alumnus), along with Xueping Li, an associate professor in industrial and information engineering, and his graduate student, Yo Indranoi. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), a leading international publisher for health care professionals and students, purchased the invention in 2010. It is now being marketed worldwide.

“Today’s new graduate nurses must be adept in using this technology, including electronic health records, to comply with accreditation standards,” said Wyatt. “Relying on the limited exposure to EHR technology that nursing students get during their clinical experiences is just not enough.”

By integrating EHR technology into multiple courses across the nursing curricula, the product provides continuity in learning, and students begin relying on EHRs as tools to gather data and anticipate patient care.

The product includes more than seventy pre-populated simulated patient records and cases. Each case includes links to LWW textbooks, giving students access to diagnosis information, procedure descriptions and videos, and other evidence-based content that is used in over 1,200 hospitals nationwide.

Instructors can bring classroom case studies to life by creating simulated patient records, building assignments, and evaluating student documentation performance. The program is designed to better prepare students for practice, in a fully realistic, yet risk-free, simulated environment. LWW will train faculty on how to use this new tool and integrate it into their curriculum.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Laerdal Medical—the top distributor of simulated mannequins for nursing education—the tool includes a variety of Laerdal’s patient scenarios and simulations.

The development of the tool, which began in 2007, has been a collaboration across UT’s campus. Law students offered legal advice for the startup company that marketed Lippincott DocuCare before it was purchased by LWW. Business students helped design a business plan. The UT Research Foundation copyrighted the technology.

Wyatt and Li are co-directors of the Health Information Technology and Simulation Laboratory (HITS Lab), an organized research unit at UT. The overall goal of the HITS Lab is to advance the science of health information technology and examine ways HITS enhances consumer health and professional health education.

To learn more about DocuCare, including purchasing information, visit the website.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

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