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Digitizing a Time-Honored Process for MD Residents

December 28, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Every resident at a hospital knows of the morning report, a time-honored tradition that as Niket Sonpal, M.D., chief resident at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City says, is as “old as taking a pill.” Every day, the chief resident leads his residents through a case and gives them a core teaching point to take home.

When he was asked to take the role of chief resident at Lenox Hill, Sonpal said he wanted to expand the morning report. He started a chief residents’ council, a consortium of chief residents across the country, where ideas and best-practices on the role could be exchanged.

From there, Sonpal teamed up with QuantiaMD (Waltham, Mass.) to create an electronic morning report, where the concept would be digitized into an interactive, multimedia platform. Resident Exchange, the platform, is a quasi-YouTube like platform, Sonpal says, that displays a variety of different cases. Once an intern clicks into a case, they are given an interactive presentation with slides, audio, and questions. Underneath, there is a section for comments, where they can ask questions or post concerns, he says. There is also a section where those who view the presentation can write a post, or their own blog, on this type of case.

“At the end of the day, it makes us better physicians,” says Sonpal, who believes the platform is a complement to the traditional classroom setting. However, he notes, for doctors who don’t have time to be lectured, this platform can be a huge help:“This morning report app allows me to say, ‘I missed the lecture, but it’s okay, because I can go home and brush up on a few topics.’”

Educational Experience

When asked whether or not this platform was meant for real-time clinical decisions, Sonpal says it’s not. “Unless the case was absolutely the same, you can’t really make your decisions based on that,” he says. Rather, the purpose of the app is to expand a doctor’s knowledge, typically after they’ve done their work rounds. The cases from the app are incorporated with board-reviewed, “bread-and-butter” questions, he notes.

Sonpal says the platform works both on the PC and mobile devices. In terms of security, the cases are presented in anonymous manner. He says the software is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.

In the future, the platform has the potential to reach all corners of the country, with physicians in New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, and elsewhere, having signed on to use it. In the greater scheme, Sonpal foresees the platform having a huge impact on board review. The questions, he says, allow for peer-to-peer comparison, which is a huge component of board review.

“I think board review will be revolutionized by this software because it’s so clean, so directed, and so social, it brings everyone around,” Sonpal says. “If one person chooses choice B, and the answer is choice A, right below the presentation, they can engage in a discussion on why it is choice A.”