“Previously, students were just able to pick up a physical patient chart,” the studies' lead author, Maya Hammoud, said in a news release. “Now, they need permission to use hospital computers and passwords to access the EHR.”
Hammoud, also a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, said teachers still have concerns surrounding Medicare rules about using student findings. Researchers say that students should be given opportunities to use EHR in actual or simulated cases, that schools should develop a set of medical student competencies in charting EHRs, students should be able to document in the patient's chart, and that their notes should be reviewed for proper content and format.
One of the studies, “Medical Student Documentation in Electronic Health Records: A Collaborative Statement From the Alliance for Clinical Education,” concludes that students are using EHRs at higher rates than practicing physicians, but educators should worry about limitations placed on students surrounding access to health records, “as this can potentially have consequences on their training, and they need to explore ways to maximize the benefits of electronic health records in medical education.”