Medical trainees are struggling to effectively navigate electronic health record platforms (EHRs), and a lack of comfort and familiarity with these systems is preventing first-year residents from using their time more appropriately.

With a focus on increasing efficiency of, and fluency with, EHRs, the AMA House of Delegates adopted new policy related to clinical documentation training. The measures adopted at the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago call for the Association to encourage medical schools and residency programs to:

  • Design clinical documentation and EHR training that provides evaluative feedback regarding the value and effectiveness of the training, and, where necessary, make modifications to improve the training.
  • Provide clinical documentation and EHR training that can be evaluated and demonstrated as useful in clinical practice.
  • Provide EHR professional development resources for faculty to assure appropriate modeling of EHR use during physician/patient interactions.

“Unfortunately, despite a growing awareness within the medical education community that medical students and residents need to learn how to ensure quality clinical documentation within an electronic health record, some institutions continue to restrict access to the EHR due to a variety of concerns,” said AMA Board Member and medical student Karthik V. Sarma.

“There is a clear need for medical students to have access to—and learn how to properly use—EHRs well before they enter practice,” Sarma added. “That’s why, even as we continue to work to improve EHR usability for all physicians and physicians-in-training, we’ve been working over the last five years with medical schools across the country to ensure our future physicians are better equipped to provide care in a practice environment of rapid progress, new technology, and changing expectations both from government and society—directly impacting the way health care is delivered nationwide.”

Read more news coverage from the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting.

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