October 14, 2010

Grant to promote faculty development in Geriatric Medicine

Grant to promote faculty development in Geriatric Medicine

Laurence Solberg, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine and chief of the Geriatrics Consult Service, has been awarded a five-year, $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote faculty development in Geriatric Medicine.

Laurence Solberg, M.D.

Laurence Solberg, M.D.

Solberg's project will provide just-in-time educational links through the electronic medical record system to save time and hopefully improve patient outcomes for different geriatric syndromes.

The grant builds on a five-year effort to train the next generation of physicians to meet a growing wave of older adult patients. The Vanderbilt-Reynolds Geriatrics Education Center (VR-GEC) within the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging was established in 2006 to promote innovations in geriatric education at Vanderbilt.

“One tool we will be able to add for physicians to use when they suspect a condition like delirium in a geriatric patient is immediate, evidence-based information, including suggested tests to order,” Solberg said. “The process of collecting focused, relevant clinical data will begin before the geriatric consultant ever sees the patient.”

VR-GEC director James Powers, M.D., said Solberg's work helps to further this important training challenge. The center has projects including training of medical students in Geriatrics in every year of medical school, training medical and specialty residents, promoting faculty development and outreach in the community to enhance geriatric expertise.

“Our goal is to make every physician a good geriatrician for their own patients,” said Powers.

The VR-GEC is focusing on new project areas, including:

• Using information technology to build systems linking the Eskind Biomedical Library and Vanderbilt's electronic medical record (EMR) to a bank of the latest online geriatric resources to support clinical, educational and research activities.

• Developing a geriatric outpatient dashboard to improve disease management and create a system for automated surveillance of patient care to provide decision support for physicians through the My Health Team at Vanderbilt medical home model.

• A pharmacist intervention system to provide surveillance for high risk medication plans used in hospitalized geriatric patients and providing clinical decision support in the electronic medical record ordering system.

• Enhancing the Geriatric Consult Wiz, linking more than 50 evidence-based information packets to patient care providers through the EMR.

• Developing a Knowledge Map/Learning Portfolio system to detect learning opportunities for medical students during their Medicine clerkship to help them achieve Association of American Medical Colleges’ geriatric competencies.