On May 4, Engineering student Benjamin Smith represented the College at MU’s inaugural Celebration of Student Writing.
Honored for his paper, “Improving Computerized Charting in an Intensive Care Unit,” Smith participated in a panel and luncheon at the Reynolds Alumni Center. The event included remarks by Interim Provost, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain, and Chair and Associate Professor of English Alex Socarides.
Smith, who was encouraged by associate Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Professor Jung Hyup Kim to submit his work for publication, began working on the project in August 2016. Alongside Kim, Smith spent months on observation studies of the nurses within the ICU unit at the University of Missouri hospital.
“We were trying to get a feel for their daily schedule, concrete data and things like that,” Smith said. “We also implemented what’s called NER, Near Field Electromagnetic Ranging technology. It’s like our ID technology.”
Smith’s project focused on Real Time Measurement System (RTMS) data. Nurses have to log their chart data throughout their shifts, which according to Smith can be anywhere from five to 30 times a day. He aimed to improve that logging system.
“There are five categories within the RTMS data: In-room assessment, out-of-room assessment, medication, lab results and then other. Basically, the goal was to try and find which areas nurses were charting the most and why in an effort to reduce those times.”
Because the ICU unit spends as much time as possible on patient care, Smith’s project is influential in providing even more of it.
“One of the things that could be hindering patient care is charting time, which takes up quite a bit of nurse’s total time during a day,” he said.
The panel kicked off at 11 a.m. with Smith serving as the only Engineering student on the four-person panel. Alongside the three other panelists, who were English majors, Smith presented a PowerPoint on his paper.
“It was a great panel and good discussion afterwards about it,” he said. “And then right after, there was a luncheon.”
Smith’s work was selected for publication in Artifacts: A Journal of Undergraduate Writing.