With the majority of today’s physicians graduating from medical school without comprehensive training using electronic health records (EHR), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Regenstrief Institute are collaborating to ensure more medical students and medical trainees gain real-world experience using EHRs during their training.
Developed by the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Medicine (IU) as part of the AMA’s initiative to create the medical school of the future, the Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform will be disseminated by the AMA and Regenstrief to medical schools across the country.
The platform uses real, de- and mis-identified patient data to safely allow students to virtually care for patients with multiple, complex health conditions by navigating records, documenting encounters, and placing orders within an application that is similar to the EHRs used in practice, according to an AMA press release. “It also provides an immersive and cutting-edge way for educators to teach students how EHRs can be used to address important issues pertaining to population health, quality improvement, patient safety and social determinants of health. The platform uniquely offers tools for educators to create customized content that is specific to their curriculum goals and also tools to evaluate students,” AMA stated in the press release.
AMA vice president for medical education Susan Skochelak, M.D., said in a statement that many residents and young physicians are coming out of medical school with gaps in their ability to practice in the modern health system. “Too often, students enter residency training without the ability to effectively and efficiently work with EHRs, even though they are one of the primary tools physicians use in everyday practice,” Skochelak said. AMA has been working with leading medical schools to develop innovative ways to improve physician training. “The Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform is one major result of this collective work to ensure physicians are prepared to hit the ground running when they enter practice,” Skochelak said.
The EHR clinical learning platform was developed as part of AMA’s initiative to create the medical school of the future. The AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative in 2013—providing $11 million in grants to fund major innovations at 11 of the nation’s medical schools. As one of the founding Consortium schools, IU School of Medicine received a $1 million AMA grant to work with the Regenstrief Institute to develop a way to incorporate EHR training into its curriculum so it could be implemented by other medical schools. After more than a year of use by, and feedback from, IU medical students, the newly enhanced Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform is now available for widespread adoption.
With support from the AMA, the Regenstrief Institute is working with medical educators to implement the EHR clinical learning platform into their medical schools’ curricula.
Regenstrief research scientist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at IU School of Medicine Blaine Y. Takesue, M.D. said: “It is ironic as EHRs have proliferated in the past decade, significant medical student exposure to these systems has decreased. EHRs are a tool most physicians will use every day in their practice, and data from EHRs will impact all physicians. This new collaboration between Regenstrief and the AMA reflects two realities. First, health professions schools regard EHR and informatics training as necessary for their students. Second, the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health and the AMA believe investment in the Regenstrief Electronic Health Record Clinical Learning Platform will improve healthcare by improving the informatics ‘IQ’ of medical students and other healthcare profession students.”
The Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform has already been adopted by the UConn School of Medicine—a member of the AMA’s Consortium—as well as Southern Indiana University School of Nursing. Additionally, the platform will soon be implemented at three other schools, including Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine—both of which are members of the AMA Consortium—as well as the University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program.
UConn School of Medicine is implementing the EHR platform in two of its courses, including a course that introduces students to patients within virtual families embedded in the EHR to give clinical context to basic science, clinical medicine and social science principles. UConn is also using the platform to allow students the opportunity to mine the platform’s extensive database of mis-identified patients to learn about populations and social determinants of health and disparities.
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