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 Indiana University School of Medicine (IU) and the Regenstrief Institute 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 first-of-its kind 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. 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.
"Our medical schools are very good at preparing students for the basic and clinical sciences that are essential to providing patient care. However, many residents and young physicians are coming out of medical school with gaps in their ability to practice in the modern health system," said AMA Vice President for Medical Education Susan Skochelak, M.D. "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. That is why we have been working with some of the nation's leading medical schools to develop bold, 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."
Providing medical students with the ability to use EHRs during their training is one of the innovations identified by the AMA's 32-school Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium as necessary to the medical school of the future. 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--which uses real de- and mis-identified patient data from Eskenazi Health, one of the nation's largest essential health care systems--is now available for widespread adoption. With support from the AMA, the Regenstrief Institute is actively working to engage medical educators from across the country 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.
UConn School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Education Suzanne Rose, M.D. said: "In our growing digital age, health care delivery is rapidly changing. It is critical that all medical students have exposure to integrated EHRs which will be a mandatory part of their future care of patients. UConn's medical school is excited to further enhance our educational innovations by integrating the available Regenstrief EHR platform into our curriculum--taking advantage of the endless possibilities that the platform offers to explore all aspects of medicine and patient care."
The AMA is holding an upcoming webinar for faculty at other medical and health profession schools who are interested in incorporating the platform into their schools' curricula, as part of its new Innovations in Medical Education webinar series aimed at highlighting the innovations emerging from the Consortium.
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. Together, these schools formed a Consortium that shares best practices with a goal of widely disseminating the new and innovative curricula being developed. The AMA expanded its Consortium in 2015 with grants to an additional 21 schools to develop new curricula that better align undergraduate medical education with the modern health care system. Most recently, through its work with the 32-school Consortium, the AMA launched a new health systems science textbook that can be used by all medical schools to help future physicians navigate the changing landscape of modern health care, especially as the nation's health care system moves toward value-based care.
The AMA will continue its efforts to accelerate change in medical education to ensure future physicians learn about the newest technologies, health care reforms and scientific discoveries that continue to alter what physicians need to know to practice in modern health care systems.