Prisma Health/USC-SOM Clinical Informatics Program Overview

The Upstate of South Carolina has a rapidly growing population in a state that has been identified at risk for a physician workforce need.  This need includes a demand for the services provided by clinical informatics physicians.  Since many graduates of the fellowship program are projected to remain in the Upstate or in the state of SC to practice, the establishment of a Clinical Informatics at Prisma Health/USC-SOM Greenville helps to satisfy this physician workforce need.  Moreover, there is a growing demand from our current resident graduates to match in a variety of GME fellowship programs including Clinical Informatics.  Such a fellowship program at Prisma Health/USC-SOM Greenville would allow these residents who wish to be retained in the area to not be required to move to another area to continue their training, putting their career choice and the SC physician workforce development at further risk. 

The objectives and requirements of the Prisma Health/USC-SOM Clinical Informatics Fellowship will be accomplished through a large, single sponsoring health system with an 800+ bed main campus (including nearly 100 ICU beds) and 7 additional satellite facilities (total licensed beds 1100+).  In this system, there already exist 9 accredited residency training programs as well as 8 fellowship programs.  The Department of Medicine has over 700 faculty members, included in 16 subspecialty divisions and primary care.  The Division of Clinical Informatics, a newly formed division, employs four physician informaticist, three with primary appointments to the Department of Medicine and one with a primary appointment to the Department of Emergency Medicine.  There will be a designated Program Director and Key Clinical Faculty with appropriate time, salary support, and instruction in education and evaluation of fellow trainees.  They will also demonstrate appropriate productivity in scholarship.  This learning environment will ensure the trainees will have a diversity of real-world informatics problems and projects. Trainees will operate in a variety of dynamic informatics groups working direction on electronic health record systems, quality improvement, data governance and analytics, systems acquisition, and regulatory compliance. Combined this will facilitate accomplishment of the ACGME competencies outlined for a Clinical Informatics Fellowship. 

The curriculum and clinical learning environment will be based on established ACGME program requirements.  The fellowship training program will be 24 months in length.  The 1st year will be largely based on broad exposure to a wide range of topics facing a physician informaticists aimed at teaching fellows the basic aspects of clinical informatics.  Rotations will be on our dedicated informatics teams, ranging from information technology specialists, application analysts, quality, and analytics teams. Fellows will be exposed to a variety of instruments necessary, including EHR building, SQL database administration, data analytics tools/statistical analysis, and proper governance techniques. The 2nd year will be aimed at expanding the knowledge gained in the 1st year and is structured to allow each trainee to dive deeply into areas of personal interest. Fellows will also participate in a remote academic program designed to teach the fundamental science and practice behind Clinical Informatics. This academic program will be performed via remote education through Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) certificate program in Clinical Informatics. Additional academics will be provided onsite through regular journal club meetings, topic lectures from core faculty, and select lectures from visiting academics and industry leaders.

Research opportunities are afforded the trainees by exposure to faculty and attendance at conferences. In the latter part of the 1st year, research project ideas will be presented, discussed, and assigned a mentor along with a formal plan for each project. Trainees will spend dedicated portions of the 2nd year progressing through their project that must culminate prior to graduation.  All fellows with a strong interest in a career involving formal ongoing research have opportunities through our institutional partners (e.g., Clemson, USC, Furman) to obtain a Clinical and Translational Research Certificate or various master’s degrees in addition to the certificate provided through OHSU. 

Conference participation spans both years of training.  These conferences will include Clinical Informatics Grand Rounds and Trends in Clinical Informatics (Journal Club).  The fellows will also participate in conferences within the Department of Medicine or the department in which they are clinically trained.  Second year fellows will be expected to provide leadership to these conferences, including providing presentations and guiding discussions.  Finally, all fellows will participate in, and should expect to present at, various national specialty specific meetings such as American Medical Informatics Association, American Health Information Management Association, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.