EHR Clinical Learning Platform

Tech Educator of the Year: A Nomination for Innovation

I had my first conversation with Zach Weber in 2016 about our Teaching EMR (tEMR). Zach was originally interested in our EMR for a potential research project at the Purdue College of Pharmacy. We discovered during our initial demonstration of the platform that there was an opportunity to do more within the curriculum at Purdue for the approximately 450 Pharmacy students in their program.

Zach championed bringing the Teaching EMR to their curricula. In 2017, they rolled out the new curriculum using tEMR to students.

I nominated Zach for a 2018 Mira Award. Winners will be announced during a black-tie awards ceremony and gala on Saturday, April 28, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. The ‘Tech Educator of the Year’ award recognizes the best educators in tech in the state of Indiana. It is part of the annual Mira awards from TechPoint.

Zach is one of the finalists for the ‘Tech Educator of the Year’ award. Less than half the nominees become finalists.

So, we are very excited for Zach.

Everyone is a Winner

I wish I could nominate all of my educators in Indianapolis who are using our platform. Each and every one of them is doing something that is truly innovative in my opinion. They are developing the groundbreaking curriculum that is giving students more EHR experience in the classroom.

There is no mandate. No government, association or organization is calling for educators like Zach or Gabriela at the University of Southern Indiana to bring these type of technology-enhanced learning systems to their students. They find a way. We are thrilled to partner with schools to figure out how to make it happen here at Regenstrief.

Zach is part of a growing number of programs that see the long-term benefits of giving students more experience using an EHR during their formative years. They are enhancing their curriculum with an EHR clinical learning platform like ours that will ultimately improve how we are cared for in the healthcare system. So, we all benefit.

Your students are going to become practicing pharmacists, doctors, nurses or care providers in other allied health professions when they graduate. Most will graduate without a lot of experience using an EHR–a tool they will use every day. Shouldn’t every Medical student graduate with 4 years of EHR experience?

Zach is an educator that wants to ensure that the pharmacy students at Purdue get ample experience navigating and using the EHR before they graduate.

Below is the nomination that I submitted on his behalf.


Recommendation for 2018 Techpoint Mira Tech Educator of the Year

Students in Medical and Allied Health Professions are graduating from college without the essential experience needed to care for patients using an Electronic Health Record (EHR)/Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in an age where these systems are pervasive and required in practice.

Health Systems are reluctant to let students have access to their systems and patients during teaching and instruction for safety, privacy, and security reasons. Medical students get insufficient access during their clinical years, but Pharmacy students are typically left out–especially first and second year (P1 and P2) students. Further delaying practical, applied learning exercises, until the end of their formal education.

There are 149 pharmacy schools in the US. Programs graduate about 14,500 students each year and have around 62,000 enrolled. Because students graduate without the needed experience using an EMR in clinical practice, most are susceptible to technology-related, medication safety incidents while managing medications for patients.

To address this education gap and improve patient safety, Zach Weber at the Purdue College of Pharmacy contacted us at the Regenstrief Institute where we have developed a virtual Health System for the Indiana University School of Medicine. Zach wanted to use our Teaching EMR (tEMR) platform with his 450 pharmacy students at their Indianapolis and Lafayette campuses.

Having access to a real EMR for education is extremely innovative for Pharmacy schools. While many Nursing schools have started adopting vendor solutions for students, Zach is on the cutting edge for Pharmacy school educators using EMRs in the classroom. Zach stated that before the tEMR, the only access to an actual patient chart in the PharmD curriculum was a paper binder that represented one patient, over the course of one hospital stay. The tEMR is an exponential improvement with regard to the level and type of information students and faculty have access to for learning.

Zach and his peers are now able to identify psuedononymized patients from a +11K patient database spanning 40 years of patient care in our local health system–all customizable to their teaching in the classroom.

Everything that Zach is doing at Purdue is for his students. The more we use something, the better we get at using it. This is especially true with technology. Incorporating technology early in their pharmacy education reduces the anxiety they will experience on-the-job when students graduate and enter practice. Plus, it is improving healthcare.

Better students will lead to better health. Zach understands this, so he is challenging his students to be better users of technology today using products like the Teaching EMR in the classroom. That is why I believe Zach Weber should be your award winner for 2018 Techpoint Mira Tech Educator of the Year.

Additional Information

Zach and Purdue are also advancing pharmacy practice for all programs through their research using the tEMR technology in their curricula. The ultimate goal is better preparing students for pharmacy practice and increasing the efficiency and safety of pharmacists’ use of EMRs when managing medications for patients.

In addition to bringing the tEMR to students, Zach is a co-coordinator for a unique educational program between Purdue and Indiana University. The curriculum prepares students for transitions of care through interprofessional education (IPE) activities using the Teaching EMR to bring medical, pharmacy, nursing, and other allied health professionals together. The combination of technology and new teaching, in addition to the partnering across universities here in Indiana, demonstrates Zach’s commitment to finding new ways of preparing students with technology and curriculum.

In addition to his work with tEMR, Zach also has led the use of other technologies to enhance learning. They include the calibrated peer review (CPR) system called Gradient, as well as a data and time tracking system called Pattern. Each of these programs were created by the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT and Instructional Technology at Purdue (iTaP).

I hope this information helps as you consider educators making a positive impact in Indiana using technology.


Brian Stout
Regenstrief Institute
Sr. Product Manager (Teaching EMR)
Dr. Clem McDonald Center for Biomedical Informatics

(I hope Zach wins!)

There is a rigorous interview process that all nominees must do. I’m certain from my interactions with Zach that he did great.

There are many great nominees in his category that are improving education around the state, so everyone is a winner in my book. I look forward to hearing the final results.

Good luck everyone!

If your a school in Indiana or have something similar in your state, I’d love to help you earn one of these in the next year for your program.

EHRs for the Win

If your program is interested in learning more about bringing an EHR into your classroom and lab, please don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more.

We are happy to share how programs like Purdue or Indiana Univesity School of Medicine are using an EHR in different areas of the curricula. There a number of resources and curricula examples available on our site.

So, what do you think? More EHR experience is a win for students?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Brian Stout
Regenstrief Institute
Sr. Product Manager (Teaching EMR)
Dr. Clem McDonald Center for Biomedical Informatics

Brian Stout Product Manager

About the Author

Brian Stout is a senior leader in marketing and product management 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 (yes, 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.