ALTOONA – A gift in kind presented to Penn State Altoona by Delta Health Technologies LLC, will enable the campus’s nursing students to utilize electronic medical records software designed to document clinical services in a home health environment. Valued at nearly $300,000, Delta’s gift involves 200 licenses for the medical software package entitled ClinicalVirtuoso™.
“On behalf of our entire Penn State Altoona community, I express gratitude to Delta Health Technologies for an act of philanthropy that will profoundly enhance the academic experiences of our nursing students,” said Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. “By employing state-of-the-art clinical services software programs, our students will gain the type of practical experience that accentuates classroom and lab instruction and positions them prominently among candidates for employment in the healthcare industry.”
Equipped with many features, ClinicalVirtuoso enables students to record daily tasks, document an initial patient assessment, establish and conduct a care plan, manage ongoing services, and chart discharges and transfers, among numerous administrative functions. The software is intended for educational purposes in simulated clinical environments only.
“Delta Health Technologies is committed to improving the quality of healthcare provided in the home setting,” said Keith R. Crownover, president and chief executive officer of Delta Health Technologies in Altoona. “We toured high-tech labs in use by the Penn State Altoona Nursing program and decided that we had an opportunity to work together to bring technology to the documentation of the care being simulated. A key element of healthcare reform is the use of electronic health records, and yet we have been unable to find any clinical programs at any school in the country that have included the use of automation in the curriculum. What better place to start than right here in Altoona, and what better way to make a difference than in the education of the next cohort of caregiving professionals? We will be exploring other opportunities for the use of the software at other clinical programs within the Penn State system, as well as at other universities throughout the country.”
Dr. Suzanne K. Kuhn, coordinator for Nursing Programs and assistant professor of nursing, said approximately 200 students enrolled in all three of Penn State Altoona’s Nursing programs—Associate Degree, Second Degree, and R.N. to B.S.—will benefit from use of ClinicalVirtuoso, supplementing clinical experiences in state-of-the-art acute care facilities. Students already participate in clinical rotations in medical-surgical nursing, orthopedics, neurology, oncology, critical care, psychiatric care, emergency care, pediatrics, and obstetrics.
“With access to ClinicalVirtuoso, our students will be able to gain valuable experience with an online electronic record in a simulated environment, enhancing their documentation skills,” said Sharon A. Lacue, coordinator of Penn State Altoona’s simulation lab and instructor in nursing. “At present, our students have limited opportunities to develop these skills when they are working in the clinical setting. ClinicalVirtuoso is robust in covering all pertinent areas addressed in an electronic medical record. That’s important because within the next few years, healthcare will mandate application of an electronic medical record. We are excited to prepare our students for the workforce with use of this program.”
The gift from Delta Health Technologies will help Penn State Altoona to reach the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014. Penn State Altoona’s goal is $20 million.