TPP has developed a patient record replicator tool within the SystmOne demonstration system. The tool makes simulation training easier for universities teaching informatics skills to healthcare students. Made available in September, it is now being trialled by lecturers at both the University of Manchester and the University of Birmingham.

The new tool allows lecturers or course leaders to create new user accounts on SystmOne for students and generate example patients for them. It will allow sample complex patient records to be copied, so that each student has their own patient record to work on. The demonstration software can also alter the dates on the patient record, so that old records can be updated for the current academic year. Additionally, it allows records to be shared between institutions.

The tool was requested by a working group of nearly twenty universities and academic institutions. The group are looking to develop a national teaching syllabus for healthcare students to learn about electronic patient records and how healthcare software is used across the NHS and care sectors.

TPP has a long history of supporting universities with medical school training – having supported the University of Leeds with a free SystmOne teaching environment for over a decade. Dr Sarah Pontefract, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics at the University of Birmingham and Dr Kurt Wilson, Senior Lecturer at Manchester Medical School said that to provide safe and effective care, healthcare students really need to be proficient in the use of electronic records. “Undergraduate healthcare students are exposed to systems when they are on placement within the various sectors of healthcare, but rarely have access to these at their university site. It is for this reason that we set up a national working group of academic practitioners, with representatives from NHS organisations and system providers, to champion the importance of this and work towards integrating the technology into teaching.”

The working group met with several suppliers earlier in the year to discuss the challenges they face in teaching students about electronic patient records. The group shared the problem of needing a system that could technically support simulated teaching. Sarah and Kurt said “TPP saw the difficulties we were facing, and took on the challenge. Working in collaboration, we have made substantial progress in the use of SystmOne as an educational platform. With the expertise and support of TPP, we are now able to create, copy and reuse simulated patient records, and share these easily within and across academic institutions. This paradigm shift is opening up new and innovative opportunities in UK medical education, with many new possibilities for undergraduate healthcare experiential learning supported by the SystmOne environment.”