Clinical Informatics

Credits: 4.00 CREDITS (Clinical Elective)
Directors: Karipineni, Neelima; Landman, Adam B
Prerequisites: HMS Principal Clinical Experience (Core Clinical Clerkships) or equivalent
Offered: Full time for one month,
Open to Exclerks: Yes (may be restricted for international students)
This elective will introduce students to the field of clinical informatics, a field which has recently been recognized as a medical subspecialty by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Students will learn about the core content of clinical informatics, current challenges, and opportunities for future work through a combination of practicum, seminars and didactic sessions, independent reading, presentations, and written assignments. Partners HealthCare is a recognized leader in the field of clinical informatics and an early adopter of health IT solutions, with several labs and divisions devoted to clinical informatics and health IT work distributed among various affiliated institutions, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Partners is currently in the process of a multi-disciplinary, organization-wide electronic healthcare system implementation, which will touch many aspects of clinical and non-clinical workflow and process re-design. Students will be matched with one or more of our over 50 informatics faculty members based on personal areas of interests, and will have the opportunity to participate in informatics operational initiatives and/or research projects during the course of the elective.
Learning Goals:
1) To provide students with a broad introduction to the breadth of the field of clinical informatics.
2) To understand the current health IT landscape in terms of policy and incentives, and its role in advancing institutional missions.
3) To familiarize students with fundamental tools and techniques used by informatics professionals to carry out informatics research and interventions.
4) To introduce students to requirements for subspecialty certification as defined by the American Board of Preventative Medicine and prepare trainees to pursue a future career in clinical informatics.
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
The student will attend regular informatics seminars at Partners HealthCare sites or at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at HMS. He or she will also complete independent readings from the informatics literature covering a variety of core subjects. The student will be required to present a Journal Club discussing a recent article from the literature with informatics fellows, faculty and informatics staff in attendance.
Practicum – 50% The trainee will be matched with a mentor from the faculty or informatics professional staff whose area of practice is similar to the trainee’s stated interests. The trainee will have the opportunity to shadow this mentor and observe day-to-day activities involved in an active informatics project. When possible, the mentor may assign the trainee tasks commensurate with his or her level of familiarity with the project content. The trainee will also be given the opportunity to meet with other faculty and staff on an informal basis to discuss their own work and career trajectories. The goal is to give the trainee a sense of the depth of the field and possibilities for future development.
Seminars and didactic sessions – 20% The trainee will be required to attend seminars and didactic sessions offered by various Partners HealthCare entities and HMS. These may include weekly clinical informatics seminars offered by Partners IS and biweekly seminars at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Countway Library, as well as didactic sessions with current Partners Clinical Informatics & Innovation fellows. The trainee will be provided with a schedule of required sessions at the beginning of the rotation.
Independent reading – 10% The trainee will be provided with a list of required readings comprised of essential or seminal work in the field, as well as general review readings, covering a breadth of topics identified as core content for the subspecialty by the American Board of Preventative Medicine. The list will additionally include readings on fundamental tools and techniques that form the backbone of a large body of informatics projects. The trainee will be expected to complete these readings independently on his or her own schedule and should be prepared to discuss content with faculty members and fellows.
Journal Club – 10% The trainee will be expected to present a journal club session to an audience of informatics fellows, faculty and staff. The article discussed will be chosen by the trainee at the beginning of the rotation, with approval of the program director or assigned mentor. The article should be a recent work published in a reputable, peer-reviewed informatics journal, and should be accessible to a general informatics audience. The presentation should follow a standard journal club format, with focus on critique and implications of the work presented. The trainee is encouraged to solicit input from faculty members prior to presentation.
Mock project proposal – 10% At the end of the rotation, the trainee will be expected to complete a brief proposal (no more than one page) that outlines a potential future project in any area of clinical informatics. This proposal should demonstrate that the trainee has gained an understanding of current informatics needs and gaps, as well as tools and techniques available to address those gaps. This proposal should also serve to help the trainee investigate an area of particular interest to him or her and might be based on an observation/experience during the rotation. The proposal should include the following sections: 1. Statement of Problem or Opportunity – a brief explanation of the need this proposal will address. 2. Significance – discussion of how addressing this need might affect patient care, in terms of impact on effectiveness or efficiency of care provided. 3. Proposed Project or Research Questions – how your proposed project might address the problem described. 4. General Approach – brief discussion of methods you might use to complete this project.
Grade Criteria:
Honors with Distinction:
Student demonstrates exceptional understanding of learning objectives and superior interpersonal skills, presentation skills, professionalism, and initiative. Student attends required sessions and completes required assignments at a consistently higher level than would be expected of most medical students.
Student demonstrates excellent understanding of learning objectives. Student attends required sessions and completes required assignments at a consistently strong level.
Student demonstrates adequate understanding of learning objectives. Student attends required sessions and completes required assignments, but areas requiring further improvement are evident.
Student does not meet learning objectives, fails to attend required sessions or complete required assignments, or shows lack of professionalism or initiative.
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