EHR Clinical Learning Platform

Graduating with 4 Years of EHR Experience

‘Tis the season for graduation.

Over 18,000 MD students and over 5,000 DO students will adorn a cap and gown and complete their hooding ceremony this May.

How many of those +23K doctors will be graduating with four years of real EHR experience? Not many, but should it matter.

The opportunity to change medical education is only a few clicks away. On the recent AMA webinar (last month on April–if you want to watch the replay, click here)

We know that from Dr. Maya Hammound’s portion of the presentation that:

  1. EHRs are being used in more than 90% of practices
  2. Medical students are often restricted from meaningfully utilizing the EHR–often entering residencies without adequate preparation to use them effectively
  3. Students’ EHR skills do not improve as they progress through their clinical year
  4. Students want more training and the ability to document in EHRs


So, why are more students not graduating with 4 years of EHR experience today?


I know that it is easy to point at access as the issue. The facts are that it is the single biggest reason students are not improving through their clinical years is the lack of access to an Electronic Health Record system(s) during their education and training. Dr. Peter Embi explains it with the analogy of Driver’s Ed. Students without the time behind the wheel are not going to be good drivers immediately. They certainly don’t improve those driving skills by playing video games driving cars. They need real EHR’s with real patient data to gain experience to prepare them for their roles as providers and future leaders within health systems.

Should the responsibility for that portion of their education be the responsibility of the health system and/or the clinical practice? Or is the expectation that students should be prepared in all areas of their Medical training and education when they leave campus and begin working as a provider?

We believe, along with Dr. Susan Skochelak at the American Medical Association’s Medical Education team, that more can be done during a student’s matriculation using an EHR. In 2013 we set out to help Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSOM) with the grant they received from the AMA for Accelerating Change in Medical Education (ACE) to create a virtual health system for students to use during medical education and training. Students at IUSOM and 5 other Medical schools across the country are doing that now safely and securely without impact to patient care.

Students have access to the same tools that providers have been using in the central Indiana health system (at our partners at Eskenazi Health formerly Wishard Hospital) to use in the medical education and training during their 4 years of medical school. We even have Residents now using the platform for advanced training in the Clinical Sciences.

If you have not seen the report that we created on EHR in Curricula, there is a nice summary of the different areas through the 4 years of medical education and training, as well as how Allied Health Professions programs are using the platform today. It is a great jumping off point to see how it might be used in your curriculum today.

What is the cost of offering an EHR for Students?

If you have explored solutions available outside of what can be offered by the health system using a training domain for students, the costs are going to typically be in the $5-$18 per student per month range, from the pricing that I have seen and heard. Typically, the pricing is structured as an annual license that students purchase or is part of their fees. Our pricing is flexible, but we have structured it in that range so that we can continue to fund the development and support of the platform for schools so we might grow our impact in medical education and training for students.

Our goal is to see the availability of a platform, ours or others, for students during all 4 years of their medical education and training. We are evaluating the impact that these tools have on student learning and performance. As well as the impact on health.

Our mission at Regenstrief has been to create pathways to better health. We believe that better learning tools will result in better students, which leads to better health. We hope that in the coming years that the access to EHR’s for education and training will greatly improve across curricula. If students skills are not improving into their clinical years, what is the real cost? Access to the EHR seems nominal when you look at in that light.

Dr. Takesue, myself, and our team would love to schedule a discussion on how we might be able to partner with you and your team to bring students an extensive database of real patients inside a state of the art EHR clinical learning environment. At least take our platform for a test drive either through a live demonstration where you can ask questions, or get behind the wheel with a 2-week test drive.

Please think about the questions that we are asking above. Are students graduating with 4 years of EHR experience? If they aren’t, should they? If they should, then what steps could be taken to ensure that we matriculate students with the right experience when entering clinical care.

Have questions? Want to learn more?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or our team.

Thank you for invest a little of your time with us today!

Brian Stout
Sr. Product Manager
Regenstrief EHR Clinical Learning Platform
Regenstrief Institute – Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI)

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.