Columbia University Nursing Students To Use Handhelds for Evidence-Based Medicine
Columbia University School of Nursing yesterday announced that it is incorporating the use of handheld computers into some students' training to encourage adoption of evidence-based medicine at the point of care. Under the project, the school has given student participants Palm handhelds equipped with access to clinical databases provided by applications developer ePocrates. Students will be expected to record all patient encounters at the point of care. A software program developed by CUSN for the project is designed to allow students to enter specific data about the encounter, including nursing diagnosis, interventions and outcomes, without compromising patient privacy. In addition, the clinical databases chosen for the program will allow students to access treatment protocols, medication dosages and other patient-care information. CUSN expects the project to help staff better track students' clinical experiences, allowing them to tailor future lessons to individual students. CUSN may eventually use the information gathered on the handhelds to create a clinical database that the school could use for coding and billing for advanced practice nursing services (Palm release, 2/20).