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Remote Clinical Service Support (RCSS) and Helping Patients While Working Remotely: Accepting the Pandemic Challenge

Last Updated: April 30, 2020


Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic medical students on clerkships were removed from direct patient contact to conserve PPE, protect non-essential health-care workers, and reduce contagion. Remote Clinical Service Support (RCSS) is a remote clinical learning program, developed to allow third-year medical students to continue clinical training in a restricted contact environment. The RCSS program is designed to allow students to review a patient record from the assigned resident (students must have remote access to EMR and have completed all required HIPPA training). Based on the H&P completed by the resident, students will write an Assessment & Plan. Following rounds, the student videoconferences with the resident faculty to review their write-up and discuss any questions regarding the patient case or additional findings. Following the videoconferencing, the student may also support the resident by investigating relevant literature or researching clinical presentations. Students should expect to present their write-ups with other clerkship students via a web-conferencing platform as required by the clerkship director. RCSS allows students to work towards key clinical competencies by working with residents to: 

  • follow traditional clerkship workflow 
  • improve patient care 
  • offload/assist with selected resident duties 
  • develop electronic health record skills 
  • follow strict HIPAA compliance 
  • integrate self-directed learning 
  • develop advanced written and verbal communication skills 

Materials included in this package outline instructions for resident faculty, students, as well as information for clerkship directors and coordinators regarding recommended logistical delivery formats and assessments. 


Joseph LaPorta, D.O., University of Cincinnati
Angela Bustamante, University of Cincinnati
David Paulik, M.A., University of Cincinnati
H. William Covert, B.S., University of Cincinnati
John Quinlan, M.D., University of Cincinnati (john.quinlan@uc.edu)