HISS & MoPS

From Learning to Professional Training and Back

In the HISS (Hospital Information System for Students) project, developed between September 2003 and July 2004 at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, under the financial support of HP mobility grant, students of medicine, nursing and dietetics practising in the ward were trained to use handheld devices connected through a WLAN in order to record patients data. The positive effects of the project went beyond our expectations bridging the learning dimension to the professional training and operations: the surgery department physicians and residents changed the way of rapid data entry at the bedside (previously done on a paper sheet placed on a wooden tablet) and the dieticians are shifting to a fully paperless activity. The HP 2005 Technology for Teaching grant MoPS (Mobile Problem Solving) has given us the opportunity to extend the previous project to Bioengineering students, who will follow the still on-going activities of HISS by keeping in touch with their tutors: they will be able to aid other students, physicians and nurses in their daily activities, observing and reporting problems by using wireless Tablet PC in a cooperative environment.

NEW

Bridging the digital divide

E-teaching and Tablet PCs to close the technological gap between tutors and students and to promote the educational contract

For further developments (2006)




The Experience of HISS:

a powerful metaphor

At Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome we introduced at the beginning of 2003 wireless networks and portable devices starting a number of projects for assessing the use of this technology.

In the HISS project 110 students used wireless devices to collect data concerning more than 1500 patients in the Campus Hospital. Besides learning the use of this new technology and applying it for free access to teaching resources from any place in the Campus, the students involved were able to design new user interfaces for accomplishing daily tasks.

Medicine students gave suggestions to software developers for the creation of a mask to enter clinical information at the bedside. Nursing students gathered records concerning entrance evaluation, medical diagnosis, collaboration problems, nursing diagnosis, calculation of entrance and exit fluids. The construction of an order entry system for diets was a topic dealt by the students of the Dietetics curriculum.

After designing the interface, the main problem was content adaptation depending on mobile devices features and the frequent changes in the interface definition. The possibility to rapidly change the contents through an XML schema, without varying the code, allowed us to improve, day by day, the application.

But the issues of the project were not only technological and pedagogical...



Besides being the acronym of a system for students, HISS became a powerful metaphor: the hiss, i.e. the whisper, the buzz, spread itself and involved more people and more tasks than expected.

The positive effects of the project went beyond our hopes. Two companion projects started, following the enthusiasm of some members of the staff: the first one, for the surgery department physicians, has changed completely the way of rapid data entry at bedside, which was previously done on a sheet placed on a wooden tablet. The second one, carried out in collaboration with the Campus Information System software developers, converted all dieticians activities (such as bedside-kitchen communication) to an electronic version.

Learn more on the HISS project


MoPS: Learning Off the University

Problem Solving is a core course of Bio-Engineering curriculum: it involves all the knowledge that students have so far acquired, representing the first chance to test all their theoretic formation on the field and to get in touch with the Hospital reality at various level: physicians, nurses, trainees, IT department, etc.

The fundamental learning and teaching issues that the project addresses are both ethical and technological. The focus is on enabling the students to learn through teaching something useful for the entire Hospital community (physicians, nurses, other hospital workers, patients). The main stress is on the connection among different disciplines and on communication: the students learn to interview users or to observe directly problems and to find and communicate solutions. Instructors can test students ability to solve problems and to react to users difficulties. If they can constantly keep in touch with students equipped mobile devices, they could better monitor students behaviour and help them troubleshooting.



Implementation (pedagogy)

Problem Solving is a compulsory course for all students attending the first year of the master in Bioengineering. The course includes both activities in the classroom and observation/intervention on the field. After the introduction of the teacher, that illustrates the methodology, students are sent in the different wards to take notes of both technological and organization problems. The possible solutions are discussed in classroom; after the development of an implementation, students will monitor users√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ę feedback and evaluation.

HP technology will help to achieve a fundamental goal of this course: immediate interaction for faster problem solving. Students equipped with Tablet PCs can participate in periodical briefings held in the classroom, then go to the hospital for observation, taking notes and images of the problems, and sending them to the tutors when needed.

We will examine the effects of introducing a mobile computing data-acquisition and analysis tool into problem-solving laboratory. To determine the effects of the computer tool, two groups will be selected: the test group will use a computer tool to collect and analyze data in the hospital , while the control group will use traditional equipment (pen, paper, telephone). The curriculum will be kept as similar as possible for the two groups. The groups will be examined for effects on performance on conceptual tests and grades, attitudes towards the laboratory and the laboratory tools, and behaviours within cooperative groups.



Implementation (technology)

The granted HP technology will contribute to resolving the fundamental problem or opportunity this project addresses: immediate interaction for faster problem solving. The use of wireless technology will ensure fast localization (with VoIP on the WLAN, or by instant messaging) and immediate access to useful information.

For this project, we are not going to develop any software, as we did for HISS. We want to test already existing software:Project Management instruments, Chat and Cooperative environements (MS NetMeeting, Sun Forum etc.)



Impact on Teaching

First of all we aim at preparing Bioengineering students to their future profession, not only giving them the opportunity to play an active role in the hospital, but also giving them the instruments which they will encounter in their future profession. Using mobile devices they will be able, in future, to develop better solutions for this kind of instruments and to create new ways of interaction among users.

Both tutors and students will work in Moodle, a course management system that allows different kind of interaction: chat, forum, newsletter, video lessons, on-line resources, virtual interaction. It is basically a software package designed to help educators create quality online courses. One of the main advantages of Moodle over other systems is a strong grounding in social constructionist pedagogy.





The Impact of MoPS:

changes in student learning

One Year Ago - Wireless technologies were introduced in our Campus

Today - Every student can use wireless devices to access the Hospital Information System or to look for didactical resources on the University database

One Year From Now - Teacher, students and Hospital personel (physicians, nurses and dieticians) will communicate with wireless devices in a cooperative environment.

In HISS we tried to monitor whether the students using handheld computers were achieving better results in their examinations. We soon realized that there was a better (and easier to evaluate) indicator of performance related to their future profession: speed and accuracy. The progress of the students using the devices was measured through the increasing number of tasks they used it for. Nursing tutors found more accurate the forms edited via PDA than those on papers; dieticians calculated that the use of PDA allowed them to save up to 30of their time.

During the MoPS project we will examine the effects of introducing a mobile computing data-acquisition and analysis tool into problem-solving laboratory. Two groups will be selected: the test group will use a computer tool to collect and analyze data in the hospital , while the control group will use traditional equipment (pen, paper, telephone). The curriculum will be kept as similar as possible for the two groups. The groups will be examined for effects on performance on conceptual tests and grades, attitudes towards the laboratory and the laboratory tools, and behaviours within cooperative groups.



Access to the Hospital Information System will be improved. Students of Bioengineering will access the system as trainees/doctors assistants. The advantage of mobile devices is that this task can be performed everywhere, not only in the medical cabinet, always crowded with people and where there is normally only one desktop PC for both nurses and physicians.

In this way they will be able to overcome one of the main obstacles in the diffusion of new technologies in our Campus University: users√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ę resistance. More enthusiastic users can change the attitude of the more reluctant ones, by showing them how easy and helpful is, for example, to use mobile devices for recording patients√Ę‚‚¨‚„Ę data or to retrieve useful information at bedside. In this way we think we could persuade even health care professionals, excluded from the previous project, which was specifically addressed to students. The access the Hospital Information System will be warranted not only for problem solving, but also to give explanations on the interface, to perform presentations of new applications etc.

Another future scenario can be patient information. Patients can have diagnostic, treatment and educational (such as diet habits) data displayed in their own room, so that they can get more consciousness of their health situation.



Quick Facts

Dept:

Courses Impacted: Besides the Problem Solving laboratory, many other courses will be impacted both in Bioengineering Department (courses of Informatics and Telematics) and in Medicine Department (students of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th year of Medicine practising in the wards; students of Nursing and of Dietetics). Problem Solving laboratory is a course for Graduates. The other ones are courses for Undergraduates.

# Students Impacted: 50 in Bioengineering Department and 200 in Medicine Department

# Faculty Involved: The professors directly involved in this project will be eight, of both Bioengineering and Medicine Department.

This project is funded in part by an HP Technology for Teaching grant.


Contact Us

Prof. Giulio Iannello: g.iannello@unicampus.it; Prof. Michele Crudele: m.crudele@unicampus.it; Dr. Maria Cinque: m.cinque@unicampus.it

Tel: 00390622541260

Projects website for more information: http://research.unicampus.it/Hiss/;

http://research.unicampus.it/Mops/


References & Publications

Crudele M., Iannello G., HISS - Hospital Information System for Students, Workshop on Ubiquitous and Mobile Computing for Educational Communities: Enriching and Enlarging Community Spaces, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Sept. 19, 2003.

Cacace F., Cinque M., Crudele N., Iannello G., Venditti M., The impact of innovation in medical and nursing training: a Hospital Information System for Students accessible through mobile devices, MLEARN 2004,Bracciano, Italy, July 2004.

Bernaschi M., Cacace F., Cinque M., Crudele N., Iannello G., Venditti M., Interface Design and Mobility in Ubiquitous Access to HIS, Medicon 2004 Health in the Information society, IFMBE Proceedings, Vol. 6, July 31 √Ę‚‚¨‚€œ Aug. 05, Ischia, 2004.

Cinque M., Crudele M., Iannello G., The Results of the HISS Project: an Upside-Down Revolution, Workshop on Learning Communities in the era of Ubiquitous Computing, Milan, Italy, June 13, 2003.

Cinque M., Crudele M., Gagliani Caputo L., Iannello G., PpMC (Pocket PC Mediated Communication) in Catering School, Workshop on Learning Communities in the era of Ubiquitous Computing, Milan, Italy, June 13,2003.

Cinque M., Cacace F., Crudele M., Iannello G., Bernaschi M., Mobile Learning in a Hospital Environment, Proceedings of Mobile Learning 2005, Qawra, Malta, 28-30 June 2005.

Alloni R., Cinque M., Coppola R., Crudele M., Iannello G., Valenti R., Handheld computing devices in a surgical ward: Advantages on clinical information sharing, Workshop on Personalisation for e-Health,Edinburgh, UK, July 29, 2005.



This project supported in part by an HP Technology for Teaching grant.


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