A jointly funded partnership between University of Kansas Medical Center and Cerner Corporation represents a pioneering event for education and for the health care information technology industry. It marks the first time that a live-production, clinical information system designed for care delivery is being used in a simulated way for teaching curriculum content to health professional students. The impetus for this partnership arises from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports published in late 1999 and early 2001 addressing the quality, error and waste in the U.S. health care system. The IOM's recommendations clearly validate the curriculum changes and plan to integrate IT into the preparation and core clinical competencies of all health professionals.
The purpose of this academic--business model is to create an equitable partnership to fully integrate applied clinical informatics into an academic setting in order to bridge the gap between the potential and the reality of information technology in health care. This relationship is intended as a mutually beneficial arrangement to both parties involved. The project called the Simulated E-hEalth Delivery System (SEEDS) was launched in Fall 2001. It is designed to equip health professional students to better meet the needs of tomorrow and the challenges that lie ahead as care providers. Across the healthcare industry, there is an expectation that new graduates will enter the workforce having made the transition from the manual to the automated practice of health care; yet, until now, there has been little opportunity for teaching these necessary skills in the curricula.
The SEEDS project supports not only the future of health professional education, but also the multidisciplinary education of tomorrow's teams of health care providers. It provides opportunity to learn and practice clinical skills while reaping the benefits of state-of-the-art environments that promote learning through sophisticated technology. The benefit of this joint relationship between academia and business is seen in the reward of moving tomorrow's care providers ahead on the learning curve and helping to develop clinicians that transition from novice to expert in learning how to best leverage applied informatics in their practices.