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Research Letter
May 13, 2020

Feasibility of Integration of Resident Surgical Evaluations Into the Electronic Medical Record

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • 2University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 3Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
  • 4Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
JAMA Surg. Published online May 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0845

Evaluation of a resident’s surgical performance is key to the developing surgeon’s education; however, collecting surgical feedback can be problematic for residents and faculty members alike. This study aims to describe how a surgical evaluation tool can be presented to surgeons in a new way through integration into the electronic medical record.

This descriptive study was conducted in an academic safety-net hospital from February 2019 through June 2019. A novel tool was developed within the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system that resulted in an in-basket message (Figure 1) to the faculty surgeon of record on case completion. The process was created by a physician builder in the EMR with the assistance of an EMR analyst; they required approximately 15 hours of personnel time to build and test this tool. The message contained a link to complete a surgical evaluation via Qualtrics (SAP), an outside survey platform. The evaluation tool consisted of the previously validated Zwisch1 scale, with 2 additional questions to allow free-text feedback on resident performance. When the evaluation was completed, an email was instantly generated to the operating resident, providing nearly real-time feedback. At the conclusion of the study, the proportion of the number of completed evaluations to the total number generated was calculated. After the study was completed, an anonymous survey was sent to the faculty surgeons and residents to assess the acceptability of the tool and the outcome the tool had on the amount of feedback given and received. This project was reviewed by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board and determined to be exempt. Each participant provided informed consent with the completion of the survey. Data analysis was completed with SAS version 9.4 (SAS Institute).

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