With modern advances in technology, the use of electronic records within health care will soon be common practice.
Director of Midwifery Studies Joanne Gray and Midwifery Lecturer Rachel Smith have have been working closely with Dr George Margelis and his colleagues from Intel to develop the MCA (mobile clinical assistant), a tablet computer that is appropriate for use in the clinical environment.
Joanne and Rachel trialled this technology with undergraduate midwifery students in late October. They developed a number of simulated scenarios where students used the MCA for point-of-care access. Students were able to simulate providing women with evidence-based information during an antenatal visit, access clinical guidelines and then share this information with the woman and then record their clinical observations using this technology.
Students also accessed the woman’s health record and medication charts and then used pharmacology guidelines to check drug compatibility, remaining with the woman during this time, rather than leaving to go and seek this information elsewhere.
The students involved in the trial were very enthusiastic about the advantages of using the MCA and felt that it made access to information much easier, it enabled them to stay with the woman, and they found it easier to share information with the woman. They also commented on the ease of use of the MCA and were impressed by the flexibility it provided them.
Dr Margelis and his colleagues were present during the simulation exercise and gained valuable information about how the students worked with this technology.
The Faculty has purchased a MCA which will be used by students in the clinical laboratory setting on a regular basis. This was made possible by Joanne and Rachel's successful application for a UTS Small Teaching and Learning grant.
UTS: Nursing, Midwifery and Health will continue to collaborate with Intel to explore more options for increasing integration of technology into midwifery and nursing programs in the Faculty.