Monday, November 30, 2015

Electronic charting to make a skills lab more realistic

We recently did a webinar on how to use our electronic charting system, EHR Tutor, to make a scenario more realistic when working in a basic skills lab. For anyone who is a customer of ours, make sure you check out "Instructor Resources" within EHR Tutor to view the webinar. For everyone else, we're including a quick idea below.

If your school doesn't have high fidelity mannequins or if you're supplementing simulation time with a basic skills lab, the ideas below might help.

When practicing skills with limited equipment, an EHR system can give context to your scenario. For example, if students are practicing dressings and wound care on either human volunteers or basic mannequins, you can use a computer or laptop to present the scenario. You can choose a patient chart that has an initial assessment including the description of the wound and the patient's history. If you'd like to make the skills lab more complicated, choose a patient that is showing signs of infection based on the charting done for the scenario. That way, when students go to practice replacing the dressing on the wound, they can review the entire scenario.

Does that patient have any warning signs when it comes to infection? Is there anything in the patient's diagnosis or history that might require specific wound care, extra attention or additional patient education?

By reading the chart before practicing the skill, students have a chance to think of the patient as a whole rather than just practice a single skill.

Then, once the wound dressing has been changed, students can chart the work they did to practice workflow. Bringing together both the initial information and the final charting can help round out a lab by giving it context and practicing workflow, making it a much more valuable experience.