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UICOMP Receives Stemmler Award from National Board of Medical Examiners


The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria received a 2021 Stemmler Grant Award for its project “Automated Assessment of Written Chart Notes: Generating Reliable, Timely, and Useful Feedback,” led by William Bond, MD, professor of clinical emergency medicine. Bond is collaborating on the project with Suma Bhat, PhD, with the Grainger College of Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and Rachel Yudkowsky, MD, MHPE, with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago. This project will be a collaborative effort with Jump Simulation, Peoria, where Bond is director of simulation research.

The team of physicians and engineers will apply their expertise to improve feedback medical students receive about their written patient notes, in this case after simulated patient encounters. Patient notes allow the learner to share what they have found while interviewing and examining patients, giving faculty insights into their thoroughness and decisions. This effort leads to clinicians who can create patient health records that ensure complete and systematic documentation of a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, treatment and care.

William Bond, MD

This project will enlist the expertise of the team in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, healthcare simulation, and assessment. “Accurate and complete patient notes are foundational to high quality patient care. The process of scoring patient notes of our learners and providing complete and timely feedback is time-consuming. This challenge leads to either limited or time-delayed learner feedback,” explains Bond.

“This project allows us to optimize and individualize feedback for our learners which can be challenging for our clinical faculty physicians who often face rigorous time constraints,” Bond says. “When we are developing students’ skills for patient notes, we are contributing to their diagnostic reasoning abilities, and that has a positive impact on patient care, patient safety, and overall healthcare costs. In the era of immediate note visibility to patients, note writing skill also has implications for patient education and patient perceptions of care.”

UICOMP Regional Dean Meenakshy Aiyer, MD, MACP, says the project exemplifies the power of collaboration. “By harnessing the collective wisdom and talents of our medical school faculty and engineering faculty, we are developing innovative approaches to improve medical education. The result is not only an advantage for our students and faculty, but ultimately for our patients.”

This project builds upon work supported by a Jump Applied Research through Community Health through Engineering and Simulation (ARCHES) grant. Jump ARCHES is a partnership between Jump Simulation and Education Center at OSF HealthCare and Health Care Engineering Systems Center in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Jump ARCHES provides competitive grants to engineers and physicians working together to combat problems in healthcare.

The Edward J. Stemmler, MD, Medical Education Research Fund supports innovation in medical education assessment and provides support for research and development in innovative assessment methodologies or techniques, with the potential to advance assessment in medical education or practice. The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) administers the award.