“Less Is More” Wins National Student Competition

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“Less Is More” Wins National Student Competition

Congratulations to our outstanding students for winning a national student competition sponsored by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the lead professional organization for computers in healthcare.

“Less Is More” Wins National Student Competition

(l-r) Sara James, Kevin McVey, Lauren Ann Dobry and Cameron Coleman

Congratulations to our outstanding students Cameron Coleman (School of Medicine Class of 2016), Lauren Dobry (Biomedical Engineering Class of 2014), Sara James (School of Medicine Class of 2016), and Kevin McVey (Computer Engineering Class of 2014) for winning a national student competition sponsored by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the lead professional organization for computers in healthcare.

This summer the team worked a project related to clinical documentation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), performing 45 semi-structured interviews with a wide range of documentation users — from attending physicians to billing staff to malpractice lawyers. They recorded, transcribed and coded the interviews using grounded theory to develop themes, which formed the basis of user requirements for electronic clinical documentation. This work was funded by the School of Medicine and a Children’s Hospital Grant. The faculty advisor, Stephen Borowitz, MD, Department of Pediatrics, provided supplemental funding from his David C. Harrison Distinguished Educator Award.

Based on the user requirements, the team proposed an innovative, yet technically feasible, redesign of NICU progress notes. The team’s submission, “The In-patient Progress Note: Less is More,” was presented to over 200 clinical and informatics professionals at the AMIA national conference, after which they flawlessly fielded difficult questions from the judges and audience.

Impressions from attendees included this comment from neonatologist William Drummond: “I sat in the audience and thought, ‘Wow, they really understand the clinical process.’” Marcela McClary, sponsor of the competition was impressed as well, saying, “I couldn’t believe this was a team of medical students and undergraduates.”

Lacey Colligan, MD, former NICU Fellow at UVA, worked with the team as their preceptor. “This team’s work,” she says, “exemplifies the best of UVA — true multi-disciplinary collaboration where we learned from each other, mastered difficult concepts and grew both personally and professionally. We also had a lot of fun.”

The team won first place for the work, beating PhD student teams from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who took second and third place, respectively.

Once again: Congratulations to the team for this fantastic achievement!