New AMA policy encourages EHR training in medical schools

The American Medical Association introduced a new policy that will help ensure future physicians are properly trained on EHRs.

The policy encourages medical schools and residency programs to design clinical documentation and EHR training curriculum in such a way that medical students receive valuable feedback.

"Unfortunately, despite a growing awareness within the medical education community that medical students and residents need to learn how to ensure quality clinical documentation within an EHR, some institutions continue to restrict access to the EHR due to a variety of concerns," said AMA board member and medical student Karthik Sarma. "There is a clear need for medical students to have access to — and learn how to properly use — EHRs well before they enter practice."

The policy comes after an AMA report revealed concerning effects the EHR has on student and resident relationships with patients. The report suggested students and residents may be spending too much time on the chart and computer, which detracts from time spent with the patient. It also noted students may not have adequate observation of the appropriate use of and best practices for EHRs.

According to the report, "any training should provide students, residents and physicians with institutional policy regarding copy and paste functions or any other functions that have local guidelines," reads an AMA news release.

To that end, AMA is also recommending medical schools and residency programs offer EHR professional development resources to their clinicians to ensure they are using EHRs appropriately during interactions with patients.

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