As more hospitals, clinics and physician practices make the transition to electronic health records, many medical schools are grappling with how to train the next generation of physicians to use the systems.
Schools face multiple challenges in trying to integrate EHRs into their curricula, such as billing issues and limitations within the systems that make them inconducive for educational purposes. But medical schools should be cautious in placing limitations on students that might prevent them from becoming competent in EHR use, said Lynn Cleary, MD, a professor at Upstate Medical University at State University of New York in Syracuse.
“Schools have a responsibility to graduate students with the expertise and sense of duty in the basics of practice,” she said. “The EHR is now part of that skill set.”
Some of the barriers to EHR instruction cited in the survey were that many systems do not have a mechanism that allows residents or faculty to review student order entries. Respondents also cited concerns about billing challenges, a lack of computers available for instructional purposes, student errors that might go undetected because of the structure of some EHRs and the steep learning curve for faculty unaccustomed to EHRs.
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