The American Medical Association Wednesday unveiled a new electronic health record training program that aims to better educate medical students on how to use digital records to treat patients.
The program, created by the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, will provide students access to misidentified and deidentified EHR information in the classroom before they enter clerkships, thereby filling a gap in medical education that's becoming more and more apparent as the use of EHRs grows.
The Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform uses records from 11,000 patients in its training platform, giving medical students the chance to become familiar with how to use digital records for individual patient care and broader-scale tasks, such as population health management and addressing the social determinants of health.
Letting medical students go through school without learning how to use EHRs is "comparable to a physician leaving medical school without learning how to use a stethoscope," said Dr. Susan Skochelak, the AMA's group vice president of medical education, in an AMA call Wednesday morning. The platform is part of the AMA's efforts to create the "medical school of the future."
The platform, which draws data from Eskenazi Health, was developed with a $1 million AMA grant to the IU School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute. Students at the IU School of Medicine have been using the platform for more than a year . Two other schools—the UConn School of Medicine and Southern Indiana University—have already introduced the platform to their curricula. Now, the AMA and the Regenstrief Institute will bring the platform to other U.S. medical schools.
The platform is just the latest push from AMA to get medical schools to incorporate EHRs into their curricula. In 2015, the AMA introduced new policy to ensure that medical students get experience using EHRs. Some schools already offer EHR education with simulated records in the systems their affiliated hospitals use. But these systems don't use real, deidentified and misidentified patient data, and they "were designed to train users on the system, not to deliver education content," said Lisa Welch, Regenstrief's communication manager.
Because of the type of data the Regenstrief platform includes, it "more closely simulates what students are going to deal with in real-life practice," said Dr. Blaine Takesue, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief research scientist. Getting students familiar with EHRs is important, he said, because "an increasing part of medical practice is being able to filter data to identify what the priorities are."