AMA, Regenstrief Institute launch platform to include EHR training in med schools

In an effort to incorporate electronic health record (EHR) training into medical school curricula, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis have partnered to give medical students the training needed to efficiently interact with the developing technology.

Developed by the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine (IU), the Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform is ready to be distributed to medical schools. IU, as one of the first schools within the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium responsible for providing EHR training to medial schools, was awarded a $1 million grant to work alongside the Regenstrief Institute to develop an EHR training-inclusive curriculum.

“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,” said Regenstrief research scientist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at IU School of Medicine Blaine Y. Takesue, MD. “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 uses information from Eskenai Health to allow students to care for virtual patients with complex conditions by navigating records, documenting patient encounters and ordering within a system comparable to conventional EHRs. Educators are also offered tools within the system to customize content based on their specific curriculum and teach students on how EHRs address the factors of population health, quality improvement, patient safety and social determinants of health.

“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, MD. “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.”

Fine-tuned by a year of use and feedback from IU medical students, the completed platform is currently in use in medical schools including Southern Indiana University School of Nursing and UConn School of Medicine. At UConn, another Consortium school, students are introduced to virtual families and must delve further into the EHR database to learn how population health and social determinants of health impact their patients.

“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,” said UConn School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Education Suzanne Rose, MD. “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.” 

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program are next in line for implementation of the platform.