The electronic health record (EHR) has improved health care delivery, but also has presented a challenge for medical student training. Educational mandates that can provide guidelines to medical schools on how to teach and assess student skills in EHR proficiency do not exist.
In two studies published this month by the journal Teaching and Learning in Medicine, the Alliance for Clinical Education describes the importance of medical student participation in the EHR. The Alliance, made up of education leaders from a broad range of medical specialties, was formed to enhance clinical instruction of medical students.
“Currently only 64 percent of medical school programs allow students any use of EHRs, and of those only two-thirds allowed students to write notes with in the electronic record,” says Maya M. Hammoud, the study’s lead author and associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
“Previously, students were just able to pick up a physical patient chart. Now they need permission to use hospital computers and passwords to access the EHR. There also are concerns surrounding Medicare rules about physicians using trainees’ findings in the HER,” says Hammoud, who is chair of the Alliance’s Research Committee.
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