Indiana University, Regenstrief develop EHR training tool

Indiana University Medical School and Indianapolis-based health informatics firm the Regenstrief Institute have developed an electronic medical record that teaches medical students to learn how to use the systems, according to an article in Inside Indiana Business.

The tool, called teaching EMR (tEMR) contains 10,000 actual patient records that have been de-identified. Since the records are real, they give the students a more realistic experience of using EHR systems. For instance, a clinician's note not only will include information about a medication being prescribed for a condition, but also that the patient expressed concern about being able to afford it. The tEMR additionally includes clinical decision support alerts and patient education information.

The system was developed courtesy of an $11 million grant from the American Medical Association (AMA).

The course currently is being taught as part of the second-year curriculum on all nine of the Medical School's campus locations via the Internet; IU expects to offer it to first year medical students in 2016. According to the article, 70 other medical school have expressed interest in subscribing to the course.

Studies have shown that medical students, not unlike physicians, vary in their use and acceptance of EHRs, and that students with less experience with EHRs during medical school may have a harder time using them during residency and beyond. More medical schools are providing training in the systems, although there are still concerns about note ownership, patient safety and misuse of functionalities, such as cut and paste.

The AMA is a big proponent of EHR education in medical school and adopted a policy earlier this year to encourage it so that it enhances rather than impedes the physician-patient relationship. It has been found that physicians are still struggling to incorporate the use of EHRs when with patients in the exam room; many physicians don't even look up from the screen and barely make eye contact.

To learn more:
- read the article