1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
THE HEALTH INFORMATION SIMULATION SYSTEM, AN INTERDISCIPLINARY COMPUTER-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEM.
Arthur Jones, EdD, RRT. University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX.
OBJECTIVE: To develop and evaluate the Health Information Simulation System (HISS), a computer-based instructional system. DESCRIPTION: HISS is an ongoing instructional development project that involves a team of experts in computer-based education and faculty from various health professions. Its goals are to: (1) familiarize students with computerized hospital information systems; (2) increase patient assessment and management skills; and (3)foster inter-professional collaboration. The core of HISS is a collection of electronic patient records (EPRs) that simulate patients with various diagnoses, such as HIV, spina bifida and lipid embolus. Information in the EPRs includes history & physical, lab values, ECG tracings, imaging studies, SOAP notes, etc. Students use the EPRs to complete assignments intended to provide practice in information-gathering and care- planning. Methods: A summative evaluation addressed the question, "What are the effects of HISS on knowledge, expectations and attitudes regarding computers?" The evaluation used a pre-, post-test, cohort design that measured changes in the dependent variables between 1993 and 1995. subjects entering the study (N=121) were students in the health information management (HIM, n=17), medical technology (MT, n=28), occupational therapy (OT, n=34) and physician's assistant (PA,n=42) programs. Attitude toward computer-based instruction was measured with Allen's (1986) validated instrument. Other measurements were made with instruments designed in-house: a semantic differential scale for attitude toward computer-based information in patient management, a ten-item assessment of computer knowledge and a scale to assess expectations about computing; that is, number of years after graduation that subjects expect their computer usage to become routine. In-house instruments were content- validated by HISS staff, then pilot-tested on a sample of faculty. Instruments were administered during the subjects' first semester on campus, before exposure to HISS. Then, subjects used HISS to complete assignments during the two-year interval Post- testing was done during the subjects' final semester. Results: A total of 99 subjects completed the study, distributed as follows: HIM (n=12), MT (n=25), OT (n=29) and PA (n=33) programs. Between 1993-95, the mean scores changed as follows: computer knowledge, 6.65 (1.43) to 7.14 (1.23); computer attitude regarding computer-assisted instruction, 4.97 (.98) to 5.44 (1.03); attitudes toward computer-based information in patient management, 4.86(.75) to 5.63 (.82); computer expectations, 1.52(.83) to 1.33 (.70). Conclusions: Participation in the HISS project appears to increase knowledge and attitudes regarding computing and shorten the expected time to routine computer use. The effects of history and mortality could have confounded the study. Respiratory care (RC) students entered the study in 1994. Data on this group are not yet available. There is no apparent reason why RC students would differ from those studied. Further studies should address the effects of HISS-based instruction on skills in information-gathering, decision-making and collaborating. PLANNED ENHANCEMENTS: Enhancements under development include video and sound for gait analysis and simulated patient interviews. DEMONSTRATION: Attendees may see HISS on-site