Evidence Based Capstone Project

Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS)

The DScPAS program culminates in an Evidence-Based Healthcare capstone project. The capstone project offers students the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to advocate for best practices and promote the translation and utilization of the evidence. The Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies prepares graduates to take on leadership roles in healthcare administration, education, public health, global health, research, and clinical practice.

The capstone project is designed to permit a student to explore a topic of personal or professional interest. Capstone projects have included:

  • Implementing and assessing a ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention protocol. The project outcomes could result in enhanced practice for the entire facility, and by disseminating the outcomes and process, advances the delivery of care, and reductions in harm;
  • Evaluating the best practices and leadership required in the implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program in an acute care hospital. Outcomes could include identifying the leadership approaches required to decrease the overall potential for infections by reducing indiscriminate use of antibiotics;
  • Reducing central line infections in a surgical intensive care unit through the utilization of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Central Line Bundle. Outcomes could include reducing the potential harm to patients and the costs associated with an intensive care stay for surgical patients;
  • Increasing high fidelity communication with emergency medical personnel transporting trauma victims to the emergency room. Outcomes could result in getting, translating, and effectively communicating actionable information to the entire care team faster facilitating the right care right away;
  • Establishing and upholding family and person-centered care for adults with multiple comorbidities in a primary care practice. Outcomes could include recognizing and promoting the patient and care partners as the most valuable link in the delivery of safe and efficient care for chronic illnesses;
  • Establishing the PA role in an orthopedic specialty clinic for children injured in sport. Outcomes could include improvements in future bone and joint health by helping young athletes to actively and safely engage in sport.

The student’s capstone project must be approved by the appropriate members of the DScPAS program faculty.