Background: The electronic health record (EHR) is a ubiquitous tool in modern healthcare today and is a common source of frustration for clinicians. However, this technology has yet to be widely integrated into medical school curricula. In the pre-clinical years, there is potential to gain exposure prior to clerkships that can be beneficial in easing the transition from classroom to bedside.
Methods: This project was implemented as part of a long standing two year pre-clinical curriculum “On Doctoring”, which focuses on clinical reasoning and physical examination skills at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. A group of students, clinical professors, and EHR professionals collaborated to develop a 2-hour course within the On Doctoring curriculum which centered around a standardized patient experience, which was documented as a patient write-up within the EHR used at the hospital. Prior to this standardized patient encounter, students were given a survey regarding their prior experiences with the EHR. This survey was developed based on feedback from focus groups of cohorts of third students on their clinical rotations who had not had a formal class on EHRs. After the standardized patient experience, and writing the clinical write-up in the EHR, students were given another survey focused on their attitudes about using EHRs in the future. This introductory course was offered for two academic years (2016-2017 and 2017-2018).
Results: The course session was received favorably by students. Many students self-reported that they had “virtually no experience” or “very limited experience” (54.1% of 144 respondents) with EHRs prior to the session. As well, most students agreed that knowing how to use the EHR prior to starting clinical rotations is important (98.4%). As well, 96.4% of students think that EHR training should be offered either during years 1 or 2 of medical school, prior to starting clinical rotations.
Conclusions: Medical students want and need more exposure to the technology that will be required of them both as clerks and beyond as physicians. Currently there is a lack of training to achieve this goal and medical school curricula should be geared towards adding this important tool into existing coursework.
Describe the new knowledge and additional skills the participant will gain after attending your presentation.: Clinical educators will learn from how one school implemented an EHR focused session on doctoring and attitudes about this kind of lesson from a student perspective. Clinicians will consider about the role of EHR education at the undergraduate medical education level.
David Leander (Presenter)
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, Tuck School of Business, The Dartmouth Institute Of Health Policy and Clinical Practice