Medical residents can benefit from workflow specific EHR training

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“This suggests that workflow-specific simulation-based EHR training throughout training is of educational benefit to residents,” they wrote in the study.   WHY IT MATTERS  

The researchers note that the widespread use of EHRs has led to a number of unintended consequences – including potential patient harm when information is not properly entered, retrieved or processed.   “The utilization of EHR simulations that feature patient records has gained traction as a solution for these problems in EHR education because, as stated by a national consensus conference, simulation is capable of matching EHR training with provider-specific workflow,” they write.  

The OHSU team also cited residents’ desire for more EHR education, along with the challenges in implementing it.   To address that need, the team had previously developed high-fidelity simulated patient EHR cases to assess safe and effective EHR use. This time they explored whether a simulated exercise focused on EHR navigation would be well-liked and useful.

“Central to addressing both of these issues is the improvement in EHR education to ensure providers are capable of safe, effective, and efficient use of the EHR in the context of their specific, daily workflow,” the study reads. They also flag the increase in burnout levels, explaining that EHR complexity has increased the amount of time providers spend documenting.

The team found that the interns found the activity to be enjoyable, useful, meaningful, appropriately paced and appropriately challenging.   The researchers used a copy of Epic, which duplicates user preferences without displaying authentic patient information, to host the simulated cases. They offered the training to 71 first-year internal medicine residents at OHSU during a week-long boot camp.

“The data collected in this study suggests not only that our activity was able to modify participant behavior effectively, but also that these changes were sustained long beyond the activity,” wrote the researchers.   THE LARGER TREND   They also found that the intervention was associated with an increase in the standardization of EHR use, which in turn was associated with an increase in the use of high-yield screens and a decrease in the use of low-yield screens.  

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