Capstone Project Requires Students to Develop an EHR Plan That Demonstrates Meaningful Use

Students participating in the University of California San Diego Extension Health Information Technology Program are sharing the results of their capstone project – developing a plan to install an electronic health record that demonstrates meaningful use at a community clinic.

"This cooperative, mutually beneficial effort gives UCSD Extension students valuable real-world experience and augments the academic training of prospective employees at Medsphere and a host of other health IT companies that will be fully engaged in the ongoing transformation of healthcare," said Michael J. Doyle, president and CEO of Medsphere.

The capstone of the program was the development and presentation of an OpenVista implementation plan for a fictitious community clinic within San Diego called Community Health Connections (CHC). The three-month-long endeavor equipped 29 UCSD Extension students with project management and health IT deployment experience incorporating proposed "meaningful use" of health IT requirements under ARRA.

"While our program focused on a wide variety of health IT topics we were able to take a deep dive into a real EHR system by looking to build out an implementation plan using OpenVista," said David Montanez, who was project manager of the CHC project.

The UCSD Extension Health IT Program has made their implementation plan available under a Creative Commons license in Medsphere's Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem.

"Our desire is to give back to the Open Source community, without which we would of not had the opportunity to interact with a proven EHR solution," said Montanez.