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Student Innovations

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For more than a hundred years, the Johns Hopkins name has been synonymous with scientific advancement and health care innovation. However, it’s not just the world-renowned physicians or Nobel laureate researchers who create transformative change.

From day one of their education, M.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students play an important, active role in the Johns Hopkins medical community, working directly with patients and hands-on in the lab alongside their faculty mentors. The collaborative atmosphere creates opportunities for all involved to contribute to the greater good, and our students regularly seize those opportunities, sometimes even garnering praise from a former U.S. president. Following are two more examples:

The Patient Promise

In a first-year course on obesity and nutrition, medical students Shiv Gaglani and David Gatz saw what an enormous impact lifestyle choices have on the epidemics of obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Realizing that health care practitioners are certainly not immune to these serious health threats, the students focused on the power of leading by example.

Launched in 2012, The Patient Promise is a groundbreaking initiative in which practitioners and students of medicine, nursing and related fields make a pledge to practice the same healthy lifestyle behaviors they ask of their patients. The goal is to create a bond between clinicians and patients and in the process, change the culture of health care.

Electronic Medical Records for the Underserved

As a Johns Hopkins University undergraduate, Eugene Semenov worked at a free medical clinic serving Baltimore's homeless and uninsured residents. There he saw many of the same patients returning over time with complex health challenges, but there was no organized medical records system to help clinicians provide continuity of care. So Semenov teamed up with fellow JHU undergraduate student Michael Morris, and later, with Mark Fisher and Roosevelt Offaha, his classmates at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, to develop an electronic medical records (EMR) system for the clinic.

They used open-source software, customized it with specific functionality to approximate hospital record-keeping and then housed it all on a secure server. The students were undaunted by the many logistical challenges they faced over the years that the project was under development. In the end, it is the first electronic records system developed by students for use by free clinics that cannot afford commercial EMR systems. It also represents an enormous step forward in raising the standard of care for members of the community who too often fall through the cracks.

 

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