Jaclyn Purvis – Independent Project

Jaclyn Purvis – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

Since 2008, the number of urgent care facilities are continuously growing and have increased from 8,000 to about 9,300 nationwide and see an average of 3 million patients each week (Galewitz, 2012). Because of this growing number in both facilities and patients seen, it is extremely important to be efficient in both work and patient care. Urgent care centers are focused towards providing fast and affordable care for those who have non-emergent medical concerns (Helping Health Care Work Best–The Role of Urgent Care in Today’s Healthcare System, 2017). In order to provide the optimal amount of care, patients rely on the cooperation of staff to work together to help diagnose and treat the patient accurately and efficiently. These facilities are helpful in these aspects but also have room for improvement and innovation just like any other healthcare provider. Urgent care facilities may be faster and more effective than a visit to the E.R., but are in need of more efficient triaging strategies and patient care, in order to compensate for the growing rate.

Project Description

For my independent project, I completed 80+ hours of shadowing at Patient First- Aberdeen where I followed one of many of the Physician’s Assistants, Tracy Lazarony- Rudd, and oversee the common conflicts she encounters on a daily basis. By shadowing Mrs. Rudd, I experienced first-hand what it is like to have the occupation of a Physician’s Assistant and my interest grew with every visit. As a Physician’s Assistant at this urgent care facility, Mrs. Rudd cares for patients with anything ranging from a common cold, to a heart attack, to a large gash in need of being sutured. Having some of these instances occur, it is important to have complete cooperation and communication throughout the facility, from all staff members to ensure safety and care for all patients. With lack of communication comes frustration and time inefficiency, which I observed multiple times throughout my shadowing experience. To address these conflicts, I created an innovation to make communication as well as triaging easier than before, not only between staff members but also to communicate patient needs to the physician in hope of eliminating frustration, and increasing efficiency of the center.

Experience Description

While shadowing for over 80 hours at Patient First, I experienced a wide variety of patient cases, making the experience exciting and non-monotonous. On a daily basis, I would enter each room that Mrs. Tracey did (with permission of the patient), observe the job of a Physician’s Assistant, use a stethoscope to listen to patient’s lungs as well as other minor hands on practices, and if I did not understand something, the staff would take the extra step to further explain it to me. Although Patient First sees their fair share of common colds, sprained appendages, and aches and pains, there were also many unusual cases during my visits. For example, an elderly patient arrived with bandages wrapped around her head, chest, arms and legs, resembling a modern mummy. When she was escorted to a room to see Mrs. Tracey, she explained that she was walking to her mailbox when she fell on the pavement and could not get up because of her pain levels. She further explained that it wasn’t until her neighbor (who brought her to Patient First) found her, that she was helped up and taken care of (hence the bandages). Upon the initial glance at the patient and the conclusion of her story, it seemed as though the patient just had a few scrapes and would be x-rayed for any broken bones that may have been damaged after the fall, especially due to her old age. After further examining the scrapes, since the patient was in her early 90’s, her skin was very thin and a scrape on the patient’s head was so deep that the cranium was visible and the patient was in need of more serious medical attention. A nearby nurse immediately called for an ambulance and proceeded to call the hospital that the patient would be taken to, to inform them of the patient’s situation and conditions, also referred to as a “tickler”. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I observed how the occupation of a Physician’s Assistant is not only to diagnose and cure a patient. The patient was given a warmed blanket and made comfortable while waiting and she was truly cared for.

In addition to this specific experience, I watched many patients get treated and cared for and if Patient First could not assist the patient, they were sent or referred somewhere where they could. During my experience, I learned things such as signs of pneumonia, bronchitis and the flu, how to staple and suture a wound and when each is necessary, what lice looks like under a microscope and how to treat it, how to handle out of the ordinary cases, differences in burns and treatments for each, and much more useful information pertaining to this field. I was able to shadow a patient and caring Physician’s Assistant as well as observe other occupations: nurses, medical assistants, radiologists, x-ray technicians, lab technicians, and doctors. While observing all of these occupations and how they function together like a well-oiled machine, I felt more appreciative for all that they do and genuinely enjoyed my experience learning from every individual I encountered. This experience has also taught me how urgent care is just as important as any other medical facility, and that I should continue to aspire to be a Physician’s Assistant because it is something I feel as though I would enjoy having as my occupation.

Innovation Description

At the conclusion of my shadowing experience at Patient First, it occurred to me that common problems experienced during almost every one of my visits was poor communication and simple mistakes during triaging. With these conflicts in mind, I wanted to create an app that made the collection of patient data easier, more accessible by medical staff, and allows for more efficient communication between the front of Patient First and the back. Before the creation of my app, I proceeded to research what technology was already available that is similar to my idea, and how my idea differed from the already existing technology.

During my research, I found that many medical facilities use a similar system that Patient First currently uses, where the patient signs in upon arrival or ahead of time and then is registered by someone at the front desk or is asked to fill out a form where a secretary then enters the data into the computer program (Our Process/ What to Expect, 2016). When searching apps used by medical professionals, I came across several database-like apps that doctors and other medical professionals use as assistance when diagnosing and treating a patient (Medved, 2017). I also encountered articles stating what needed to be improved upon when registering patients such as paper free registration that had not yet been put into place, which I took into consideration when creating my app. The information that I came across that concerned me was a webpage describing an app encompassing similar ideas as mine, occasionally used in dental care practices (Patient Registration Using iPad, 2017). This app was patient friendly and documented basic information such as their name, D.O.B., and medical history, but not all of the information my app would include. Although this app is similar to mine, their still differ in various ways, but it would be my innovations biggest competition.

With a select amount of iPads available at the reception desk at Patient first, patients will be able to pick up an iPad when they first arrive, and fill out basic information regarding their visit including: name, D.O.B., reason for visit (with additional information to fill out regarding the specific reason), their insurance provider, the area of their body that may be causing them pain or concern with further description, and their medical history that pertains to their visit that day (all information covered under HIPAA Laws and only available to medical professionals). Since patients can exaggerate their conditions to try and be seen sooner than others, the Medical Assistants will also be using the application to triage the patient. On the home screen of the app, the user can select that they are a medical assistant in which they would enter their access code, enter the patient’s vital signs, and record any additional observations on the patient. This data is then collected and stored for doctors and nurses to be able to access while the patient is in the waiting room, and triage them based on their main complaints, reason for visits and their vital signs which the medical assistant is responsible for. This would eliminate miscommunication between the secretaries at the front desk, mis-triage by the medical assistants, more patient to doctor communication, and a better system for data collection.

When creating my innovation, I spent 10 hours to perfect my idea. To create this app, I utilized Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Flash, Pixabay, my PC, an iPad, and the guidance and suggestions of my mentor. To create each screen of the app, I designed a slide in adobe flash and saved it as an image. I then inserted each image onto its own slide on Microsoft PowerPoint where I then inserted pictures from Pixabay and created invisible hyperlinks behind textboxes or shapes so that when the specific shape was clicked, it would send the user to the action of the button’s corresponding slide (Ex.: home screen, next, back). Most of the time spent while creating this app was creating each slide first in Adobe Flash, and then creating many hyperlinks to corresponding slides behind the buttons. On one of my slides, I have a picture of the human body and behind each major muscle group/ region I inserted hyperlinks so that each different region would send the user to its own corresponding slide. This slide took the longest not only because there were so many muscle groups to insert hyperlinks behind but also because I made a small placement mistake with the slide and had to restart the entire process of inserting the hyperlinks because the originals got stuck behind a picture.

The creation of my innovation is meant to serve the purpose of eliminating mis-triage, and increase communication, which I believe it achieves. My app creates a new way of communication between the patient and physician before the patient is even seen, which better prepares the doctor and eliminated mis-triage and words lost in communication. Also, my app establishes a more efficient way to take vital signs, whereas currently, Medical Assistants are writing vital signs on a scrap piece of paper and then have to insert them into the system. The use of my app will also reduce wait time for patients because more than one patient can register themselves at time, and the remaining information not needed in order to be seen by a doctor can be filled out with a receptionist following their visit, rather than before. During my shadowing experience, I learned how frustrating and life threatening miscommunication along with other simple mistakes can be, and my innovation can eliminate those risks.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

Since 2008, the number of urgent care facilities are continuously growing and have increased from 8,000 to about 9,300 nationwide and see an average of 3 million patients each week (Galewitz, 2012). Because of this growing number in both facilities and patients seen, it is extremely important to be efficient in both work and patient care. Urgent care centers are focused towards providing fast and affordable care for those who have non-emergent medical concerns (Helping Health Care Work Best–The Role of Urgent Care in Today’s Healthcare System, 2017). In order to provide the optimal amount of care, patients rely on the cooperation of staff to work together to help diagnose and treat the patient accurately and efficiently. These facilities are helpful in these aspects but also have room for improvement and innovation just like any other healthcare provider. Urgent care facilities may be faster and more effective than a visit to the E.R., but are in need of more efficient triaging strategies and patient care, in order to compensate for the growing rate.

Project Overview

Project Description

For my independent project, I completed 80+ hours of shadowing at Patient First- Aberdeen where I followed one of many of the Physician’s Assistants, Tracy Lazarony- Rudd, and oversee the common conflicts she encounters on a daily basis. By shadowing Mrs. Rudd, I experienced first-hand what it is like to have the occupation of a Physician’s Assistant and my interest grew with every visit. As a Physician’s Assistant at this urgent care facility, Mrs. Rudd cares for patients with anything ranging from a common cold, to a heart attack, to a large gash in need of being sutured. Having some of these instances occur, it is important to have complete cooperation and communication throughout the facility, from all staff members to ensure safety and care for all patients. With lack of communication comes frustration and time inefficiency, which I observed multiple times throughout my shadowing experience. To address these conflicts, I created an innovation to make communication as well as triaging easier than before, not only between staff members but also to communicate patient needs to the physician in hope of eliminating frustration, and increasing efficiency of the center.

Experience

Experience Description

While shadowing for over 80 hours at Patient First, I experienced a wide variety of patient cases, making the experience exciting and non-monotonous. On a daily basis, I would enter each room that Mrs. Tracey did (with permission of the patient), observe the job of a Physician’s Assistant, use a stethoscope to listen to patient’s lungs as well as other minor hands on practices, and if I did not understand something, the staff would take the extra step to further explain it to me. Although Patient First sees their fair share of common colds, sprained appendages, and aches and pains, there were also many unusual cases during my visits. For example, an elderly patient arrived with bandages wrapped around her head, chest, arms and legs, resembling a modern mummy. When she was escorted to a room to see Mrs. Tracey, she explained that she was walking to her mailbox when she fell on the pavement and could not get up because of her pain levels. She further explained that it wasn’t until her neighbor (who brought her to Patient First) found her, that she was helped up and taken care of (hence the bandages). Upon the initial glance at the patient and the conclusion of her story, it seemed as though the patient just had a few scrapes and would be x-rayed for any broken bones that may have been damaged after the fall, especially due to her old age. After further examining the scrapes, since the patient was in her early 90’s, her skin was very thin and a scrape on the patient’s head was so deep that the cranium was visible and the patient was in need of more serious medical attention. A nearby nurse immediately called for an ambulance and proceeded to call the hospital that the patient would be taken to, to inform them of the patient’s situation and conditions, also referred to as a “tickler”. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I observed how the occupation of a Physician’s Assistant is not only to diagnose and cure a patient. The patient was given a warmed blanket and made comfortable while waiting and she was truly cared for.

In addition to this specific experience, I watched many patients get treated and cared for and if Patient First could not assist the patient, they were sent or referred somewhere where they could. During my experience, I learned things such as signs of pneumonia, bronchitis and the flu, how to staple and suture a wound and when each is necessary, what lice looks like under a microscope and how to treat it, how to handle out of the ordinary cases, differences in burns and treatments for each, and much more useful information pertaining to this field. I was able to shadow a patient and caring Physician’s Assistant as well as observe other occupations: nurses, medical assistants, radiologists, x-ray technicians, lab technicians, and doctors. While observing all of these occupations and how they function together like a well-oiled machine, I felt more appreciative for all that they do and genuinely enjoyed my experience learning from every individual I encountered. This experience has also taught me how urgent care is just as important as any other medical facility, and that I should continue to aspire to be a Physician’s Assistant because it is something I feel as though I would enjoy having as my occupation.

Innovation

Innovation Description

At the conclusion of my shadowing experience at Patient First, it occurred to me that common problems experienced during almost every one of my visits was poor communication and simple mistakes during triaging. With these conflicts in mind, I wanted to create an app that made the collection of patient data easier, more accessible by medical staff, and allows for more efficient communication between the front of Patient First and the back. Before the creation of my app, I proceeded to research what technology was already available that is similar to my idea, and how my idea differed from the already existing technology.

During my research, I found that many medical facilities use a similar system that Patient First currently uses, where the patient signs in upon arrival or ahead of time and then is registered by someone at the front desk or is asked to fill out a form where a secretary then enters the data into the computer program (Our Process/ What to Expect, 2016). When searching apps used by medical professionals, I came across several database-like apps that doctors and other medical professionals use as assistance when diagnosing and treating a patient (Medved, 2017). I also encountered articles stating what needed to be improved upon when registering patients such as paper free registration that had not yet been put into place, which I took into consideration when creating my app. The information that I came across that concerned me was a webpage describing an app encompassing similar ideas as mine, occasionally used in dental care practices (Patient Registration Using iPad, 2017). This app was patient friendly and documented basic information such as their name, D.O.B., and medical history, but not all of the information my app would include. Although this app is similar to mine, their still differ in various ways, but it would be my innovations biggest competition.

With a select amount of iPads available at the reception desk at Patient first, patients will be able to pick up an iPad when they first arrive, and fill out basic information regarding their visit including: name, D.O.B., reason for visit (with additional information to fill out regarding the specific reason), their insurance provider, the area of their body that may be causing them pain or concern with further description, and their medical history that pertains to their visit that day (all information covered under HIPAA Laws and only available to medical professionals). Since patients can exaggerate their conditions to try and be seen sooner than others, the Medical Assistants will also be using the application to triage the patient. On the home screen of the app, the user can select that they are a medical assistant in which they would enter their access code, enter the patient’s vital signs, and record any additional observations on the patient. This data is then collected and stored for doctors and nurses to be able to access while the patient is in the waiting room, and triage them based on their main complaints, reason for visits and their vital signs which the medical assistant is responsible for. This would eliminate miscommunication between the secretaries at the front desk, mis-triage by the medical assistants, more patient to doctor communication, and a better system for data collection.

When creating my innovation, I spent 10 hours to perfect my idea. To create this app, I utilized Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Flash, Pixabay, my PC, an iPad, and the guidance and suggestions of my mentor. To create each screen of the app, I designed a slide in adobe flash and saved it as an image. I then inserted each image onto its own slide on Microsoft PowerPoint where I then inserted pictures from Pixabay and created invisible hyperlinks behind textboxes or shapes so that when the specific shape was clicked, it would send the user to the action of the button’s corresponding slide (Ex.: home screen, next, back). Most of the time spent while creating this app was creating each slide first in Adobe Flash, and then creating many hyperlinks to corresponding slides behind the buttons. On one of my slides, I have a picture of the human body and behind each major muscle group/ region I inserted hyperlinks so that each different region would send the user to its own corresponding slide. This slide took the longest not only because there were so many muscle groups to insert hyperlinks behind but also because I made a small placement mistake with the slide and had to restart the entire process of inserting the hyperlinks because the originals got stuck behind a picture.

The creation of my innovation is meant to serve the purpose of eliminating mis-triage, and increase communication, which I believe it achieves. My app creates a new way of communication between the patient and physician before the patient is even seen, which better prepares the doctor and eliminated mis-triage and words lost in communication. Also, my app establishes a more efficient way to take vital signs, whereas currently, Medical Assistants are writing vital signs on a scrap piece of paper and then have to insert them into the system. The use of my app will also reduce wait time for patients because more than one patient can register themselves at time, and the remaining information not needed in order to be seen by a doctor can be filled out with a receptionist following their visit, rather than before. During my shadowing experience, I learned how frustrating and life threatening miscommunication along with other simple mistakes can be, and my innovation can eliminate those risks.

By | 2017-05-12T03:43:03+00:00 May 12th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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