Simulated Electronic Health Record (Sim-EHR) Curriculum: Teaching EHR Skills and Use of the EHR for Disease Management and Prevention

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Electronic health records (EHRs) can improve many aspects of patient care, yet few formal EHR curricula exist to teach optimal use to students and other trainees. The Simulated EHR (Sim-EHR) curriculum was introduced in January 2011 at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to provide learners with a safe hands-on environment in which to apply evidence-based guidelines while learning EHR skills. Using an EHR training platform identical to the OHSU EHR system, learners review and correct a simulated medical chart for a complex virtual patient with chronic diseases and years of fragmented care. They write orders and prescriptions, create an evidence-based plan of care for indicated disease prevention and management, and review their work in a small-group setting. Third-year students complete the Sim-EHR curriculum as part of the required family medicine clerkship; their chart work is assessed using a rubric tied to the curriculum’s general and specific objectives. As of January 2014, 406 third-year OHSU medical students, on campus or at remote clerkship sites, and 21 OHSU internal medicine interns had completed simulated charts.In this article, the authors describe the development and implementation of the Sim-EHR curriculum, with a focus on use of the curriculum in the family medicine clerkship. They also share preliminary findings and lessons learned. They suggest that the Sim-EHR curriculum is an effective, interactive method for providing learners with EHR skills education while demonstrating how a well-organized chart helps ensure safe, efficient, and quality patient care.

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