Lynn Long, clinical instructor and professor of nursing, has the daunting challenge of designing the university's first electronic medical records (EMR) and occupational health compliance program for students and employees working in animal research.
In conjunction with the university research office and the university veterinarian, Long manages the health safety and risk of anyone who comes in contact with any of the university's more than 6,000 animals.
“There are more than 400 participants in the program right now, and to be able to get that volume of participants evaluated we needed a good system that would be able to handle the information in an effective manner,” Long said. “Paper and pencil charting is just not effective anymore. This way the records are housed in a manner that doesn’t take up any space and they are accessible to others long after I’m gone.”
Veterinarian Dr. Michael Hart and his team of assistants care for the animals, which are mostly small rodents. However, Long must oversee the health risks of the researchers, students and maintenance staff exposed to these animals in their daily work, on campus and at the Language Research Center.
Long carefully checks each human participant’s vaccine records and exposures to develop a risk profile for each one. In addition, she provides preventive medical services such as tuberculosis and respiratory tests.
"The most interesting part of the job is hearing what the researchers are doing when I meet with them to discuss their medical history or provide a preventive service," said Long, a family nurse practitioner. “The research division is doing amazing work, and it is fun to hear what is going on.”
Long has worked with Brock Davis, a lead application developer in the Information Systems and Technology office, to develop the system using SharePoint.
Her groundbreaking work has been instrumental to the university this year because the animal research program recently received AAALAC accreditation, a significant accreditation related to laboratory animal care and use programs.