EHR Clinical Learning Platform

Drivers Wanted: Driver’s Ed for Medical & Allied Health Professions Students

I’ve read all the articles and research on EHRs / EMRs in the classroom over the last couple of years. The information all points to students wanting more time behind the wheel of an EHR before they graduate. While it has been increasing over the last decade incrementally, we are still not doing enough as educators to prepare them for entering clerkship and ultimately clinical practice. Why?

  • Cost: Cost absolutely is a factor if you want to dial into the EHR / EMR in your local academic medical center or surrounding health system.
  • Risk: Layer on top of that access concerns for patient privacy, security, and oversight for the prior. Yes, these are great concerns for any team.
  • Content: Curricula can be a concern. If the school is currently not using curricula with a virtual EHR with their students there is a time and resource commitment to developing new curricula using an EHR.

We have addressed all of the preceding concerns with our EHR Clinical Learning Platform here at the Regenstrief Institute.

I heard recently that Dr. Peter Embi, our President at the Regenstrief Institute, likes to describe our platform as “Driver’s Ed for Medical Students.” I like that fitting analogy.

If you want to become a licensed driver someday, you have to learn how to drive. You can’t learn to operate a car by sitting in a classroom hearing about driving a car or reading about it.  Personally, I don’t remember the brand of car that I learned on when I went through Driver’s Ed, but I did learn to become a safe and knowledgeable driver before I got behind the wheel on my own.

The schools that teach Driver’s Ed don’t instruct students on how to drive a Ford, Mercedes, or Toyota. It is a mix of classroom teaching and hands-on driving behind the wheel. If you took the class from General Motors or Honda, certainly, they are going to show you how to use their cars and trucks and what makes them great. They are simply not in the business of providing Driver’s Ed to new student drivers.

All students in Medical and Allied Health Professions Education need to learn how to “drive the car” first. This ensures when they do graduate to their roles as a provider they can operate any vehicle that they get behind. Any vehicle. Our platform does that for students. We prepare students through the curriculum developed and added to our platform by you and your curriculum team. We can even give you a map to get there and ride along if you need some help.

My 16-year-old son is currently enrolled in a Driver’s Ed program. He receives 6 hours of driving instruction as part of the classroom training. Our state requires that he get at total of 50 hours of driving practice before he can get his license. Therefore, 44 hours, or 88%, of learning takes place outside of his structured school training. So, my son Zane keeps a clipboard with a sheet for documenting every minute that he has behind the wheel to prepare him for when he will begin driving solo behind the wheel–every minute. Maybe it is because he is a first-born, but he is meticulous about capturing every minute of practice. I thought I saw a few entries with seconds listed. 🙂

How many minutes of training and education using an EHR did your recent graduates have before they fully matriculated?

Don’t know? It is not the only reason you would use an EHR in the classroom, but our platform can help you evaluate how much time your students are getting behind the wheel of our EHR Clinical Learning Platform and how they are doing navigating. It is a great platform for filling gaps in the student’s exposure to patient cases too. Evaluation and evaluation tools are already under the hood of our platform for instructors and administrators.

Giving students in Medical and Allied Health professions more education and training opportunities using a real EHR system is crucial for preparing them to drive any health record system they may encounter. Why fake it. Although it can be enjoyable driving an exotic one-of-a-kind car in the video game Forza, I would not count the time my son has driven a car in games like Need for Speed either towards his practice hours needed to prepare him for driving.

In our platform, students have access to real patient data that has been anonymized, is readable, and ready for learning activities around your instruction. Our platform gives them all the tools for writing and reflecting on orders, notes, and observations, etc…that you would expect from a clinical health record system.

Want your own test drive? Click this link to start exploring.

Already know what you want to drive. We would be happy to schedule a discussion about our platform and how we can help get you started on your campus.

Contact me, Brian Stout, at the address below.



About the Author

Brian Stout is a senior leader in marketing and product at the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis. He is an authority on using EHRs in Medical and Allied Professions Education. He leads product and builds amazing learning platforms for one of the nation’s most seasoned (since 1972) and innovative electronic health records in the country. An advocate for learning and professional development, he is continuing his education with a Masters in Data Science from Indiana University. You can follow him on Twitter @TeachingEMR and LinkedIn or other social platforms under ThinkStout.