Best Hospital is a 325-bed suburban community hospital that has just merged with a local major academic medical center, the University of Excellence Medical Center (UEMC). There are 15 hospitals in the UEMC system, ranging from small rural hospitals with 50 or fewer beds to large multiple-specialty tertiary referral hospitals.

Two hospitals in the system have achieved magnet status and several hospitals are working to achieve this status. Within the UEMC system a high value is placed on collaboration with the schools of the health professions at the University of Excellence (UE). Best Hospital has a long history of association with local universities, functioning mainly as a site for student clinical experiences. For example, undergraduate students enrolled at the UE College of Health Professions often complete a portion of their clinical work at the hospital. Each year the hospital hires a number of graduates from this program. Several nurses in first- level management positions at the hospital are enrolled in the master’s program. The vice-president for clinical practice at Best Hospital is a PhD-prepared nurse who has been appointed to the faculty at the UE School of Nursing. Your current position is director of staff development at Best Hospital. You are responsible for the educational programming of all clinical staff. Over the past 2 years Best Hospital has been fully involved in meeting Meaningful Use criteria. As director of staff development you have played the major leadership role in developing and implementing all related educational programs. The health professional schools at UE are working together to revise their curricula to integrate informatics throughout. The goal is to develop an interprofessional approach that incorporates informatics across and throughout the different educational programs within these schools. The schools have requested a meeting with clinical leaders from the hospital to gain a practice perspective on what information should be included in the curriculums. The vice-president for clinical practice has included you on the list of leaders to attend the meeting. She has also asked that each person attending the meeting prepare (1) a list of key references related to this topic, and (2) a list of competencies, concepts, and skills that should be included in the educational preparation of graduates of the healthcare educational programs at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels.

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss what you think should be included on either or both of these lists.

2. Describe how informatics competencies could or should be incorporated into the clinical experiences of students. Be specific. For example, how should student access to the clinical information systems be developed? Who should provide the needed instruction time and cover the cost of orienting each group of students?

3. Realizing that both Best Hospital and UE include in their mission statements service, scholarship, and education, what other innovative collaborative programs might be developed by these institutions?

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