Practicum and Project Opportunities
A listing of current projects available to students looking for practical experience as part of their course or for a practicum.
Date Submitted: April 2009
Contact Information: Cody Arnold, MD (Cody.C.Arnold@uth.tmc.edu)
Project Location: TMC
Background: Very low birthweight infants often don’t grow as much as expected while in the hospital. One reason may be that not receiving enough calories and protein, especially for infants who need a long time to transition from parenteral (intravenous) to enteral (gastrointestinal) nutrition. Optimizing parental nutrition under these circumstances is computationally intensive and challenging for busy clinicians using handheld calculators. There is a recent report of an NICU using Excel to create a computer assisted parenteral nutrition ordering program that resulted in improved nutrition and fewer prescribing errors. We would like to replicate their experience with the immediate goal of supporting a retrospective chart-review “gap analysis” study and with the long-term goal of creating a program that could be integrated into electronic medical record systems. In a related information systems project, we also would like to create a prototype program that tracks nutritional intake and identifies patients that fall below a nutritional deficit threshold.
Project Possibilities: Students are invited to participate in several projects surrounding this issue. All projects are supervised by Dr. Cody Arnold and conducted at the TMC.
1) Clinical Decision Support tool that helps clinician write customized prescription of nutrition for infants not receiving enough calories and protein.
2) Clinical Decision Support tool that tracks the calorie and protein deficit on a daily basis and alerts the clinician when a threshold is reached.