Medical students working in a hospital setting must be trained on many things, but one job requirement that is often forgotten is electronic health record (EHR) use. The consequences of neglecting this training reach far and wide, from medical errors to data breaches (unintentional or otherwise).
To that end, the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recently listed four points to ponder when training medical students on EHR use. Mary Tyler, a nursing professor at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Wash., provided the tips.
- To minimize disruption to EHR workflow, determine in advance which work stations or devices medical students will use. Consider having students simply shadow a medical unit during busy times.
- Set clear policies for how students can document care and administer medications. Keep in mind that, in many cases, instructors will need to co-sign.
- Though computer-based training on EHR use makes obvious sense, a blended approach that also includes hands-on labs may help.
- Finally, ensure that students understand the importance of personal health information (PHI) security. To protect your institution, consider a time limit on student access to certain patient records.
Taking such measures will balance the need to effectively train tomorrow’s physicians without compromising patient data, staff EHR use and clinical workflows. It’s a worthwhile exercise.