When COVID-19 forced most people to stay home, professors at the U of M Medical School realized they needed to continue educating these students and to use their skills to mitigate the burdens facing the frontline healthcare providers in the hospital system.
Professors Karyn Baum and Brian Hilliard, both from the Department of Medicine, with Jessica Hane, a fourth-year Medicine/Pediatric resident, put together a new curriculum for third- and fourth-year medical students—as part of their Medical Intensive Care Unit rotation—designed to remotely equip them to help clinical staff at M Health Fairview throughout the COVID-19 patient surge. The first group of students enrolled on March 23.
Students have been assisting with patient placement, transfers, and patient flow. The curriculum teaches appropriate triage protocols and how to assist frontline providers with the mountain of discharge paperwork they face as patients flood the hospitals. Students review patient charts and craft a detailed summary for providers to review and approve, significantly reducing the amount of time providers must spend on the paperwork.
“As third- and fourth-year medical students, we are applying the skills and knowledge we’ve accumulated over the past few years to help with documentation and are able to participate in decision-making about patient placement—tasks that, as our hospitals get busier, will hopefully allow providers to spend more time with patients,” says third-year student Zineb Alfath.