Healthcare News & Insights

Medical students don’t get enough EHR training, group says

Think that younger doctors leaving medical school now and entering the profession will be pretty handy when using technology? That may not be the case, says one recent study, at least when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) systems. 

Today’s medical students aren’t getting enough hands-on training with electronic health records, argues the Alliance for Clinical Education. In two recent studies published in the journal Teaching and Learning in Medicine, the group found that many medical schools have yet to incorporate formal EHR training into the curriculum.

The Alliance for Clinical Education argues that EHR proficiency has become a part of the basic set of skills that doctors should possess after leaving medical school. However, according to researchers, only 64% of medical school programs even allow students to use EHRs. And out of those schools, only two-thirds let students write notes in an EHR system.

The studies pointed out that medical students are using EHRs at a higher rate than practicing physicians. However, the lack of formal education could cause problems after they graduate and may prevent doctors from getting the most out of their EHR systems.

One key issue: Though there are federal initiatives in place to promote the adoption of EHR systems, there are no similar programs to promote or standardize EHR training in medical schools.

In order to create a pool of doctors that fully understand how to use electronic records, the Alliance for Clinical Education says that medical schools must:

  1. Give students opportunities to use EHRs in actual or simulated cases
  2. Allow students to practice order entry in an EHR
  3. Expose students to the decision support tools typically included in an EHR system, and
  4. Develop a set of competencies to test for regarding the use of an EHR.

The group also recommends accreditation bodies for medical schools begin issuing directives to make sure that students are receiving proper EHR training and education.


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