Engineering Improvements to Patient CareMarch 14, 2019
Call it a victory for fresh perspectives: We’ve had some undergraduate biomedical students bring their engineering expertise to the hospital, and they’ve come up with some great ideas for improving how hospitals provide care.
Our inaugural BME Clinical Scholars were embedded in the hospital last summer to turn their engineering eye to how we can enhance care and the patient experience. The Clinical Scholars program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to let biomedical engineers have direct access to healthcare providers and patient-care areas, so they can identify challenges and areas for potential improvement. They then take their findings back to the classroom so they and their fellow students can work on solutions.
Our first class — consisting of Anthony DeNovio, Julia Hartman, Morgan Hunt, Katie Lee and Megan Thomas — spent time working with clinicians, asking questions and receiving mentoring from medical students in their clerkship year. Their findings begat design projects, classroom materials and curricular cases made available to all 120 BME students.
From that, the students have devised some cool ideas, including:
- A way to ensure correct positioning of breathing tubes while they’re being inserted.
- A system to ensure the prescription of correct drug dosages, especially in pediatric emergency rooms.
- A way to prevent or reduce complications and irritation from sutures used in eye surgeries.
This summer we’ll welcome our second class, pictured below. May their work prove as fruitful as that of the inaugural class.