According to a study from researchers at the Alliance for Clinical Education (ACE), published recently in the journal, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, educators need to “explore ways to maximize the benefits of electronic health records in medical education.” This, despite the fact, the report says, that medical students are using electronic health records at higher rates than physicians in practice.
The researchers surveyed clerkship directors across the United State with 24 questions regarding the use of EHRs by medical students. According to the researchers, “ an estimated 64 percent of programs currently allow student use of EHRs, of which only two thirds allowed students to write notes within the electronic record.” This limit on the students’ documentation, the researchers say, can potentially have consequences on their training.
The report also came with several recommendations from ACE as how to better maximize EHR training in medical school. The researchers said “a) documentation must occur in the patient's chart and their notes should be reviewed for content and format b) students must have the opportunity to practice order entry in an EHR—in actual or simulated patient cases—prior to graduation, c) students should be exposed to the utilization of the decision aids that typically accompany EHRs, and d) schools must develop a set of medical student competencies related to charting in the EHR and how they would evaluate it.”
Overall, ACE recommended a clear set of competencies related to student usage of EHRs.