Clinical Informatics Track
The Clinical Informatics Track in the UNC Psychiatry Residency Program is an elective, specialized track of study for psychiatry residents interested in optimizing the use of information and technology to inform mental health care delivery.
The track is led by Austin Hall, MD, Director of Clinical Informatics in the Department of Psychiatry. Residents in multiple classes, including the Chief Resident of Clinical Informatics, take a leadership role as well. Interested residents apply to the track in the spring of PGY-1 and begin the track in PGY-2. One resident is accepted per post-graduate year.
The informatics track serves as a strong introduction to the field for residents who might contemplate pursuing a clinical informatics fellowship or for residents who just want to prepare for a career in psychiatry that will certainly be influenced by data and technology.
Our curriculum falls into three general categories. To facilitate participation in these endeavors, residents will have protected clinical time for track activities, including two half-days per week in the PGY-2 year.
Track trainees will complete didactics in informatics. Other educational activities include completing the Epic physician PowerUser course, participating in a monthly journal article review, and attending guest speaker lectures.
Service / Department Education
Informatics track residents quickly become some of our department’s most efficient and knowledgeable users of the electronic health record. Track members serve to educate their fellow trainees about EHR efficiencies and serve as subject matter experts to inform redesign of EHR workflows. They also disseminate knowledge to the department about how other technologies such as mobile apps and teleconferencing platforms can inform our care.
Research and Quality Improvement
The track is in a natural position to spur research questions and quality improvement projects given its focus on data and efficiency. Track members can also leverage the department’s Mental Health Informatics and Analytics Core to partner on research or improvement efforts.
Even more detail on the history and curriculum of this track is available in the following case report:
Evan Vitiello, Michael Kane, Alissa Hutto, Austin Hall, Building for the future: the creation of a residency training track to foster innovation through clinical informatics in psychiatry, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, , ocaa160, https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1093/jamia/ocaa160