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Educating Health Professionals about the Electronic Health Record (EHR): Removing the Barriers to Adoption

Educating Health Professionals about the Electronic Health Record (EHR): Removing the Barriers to Adoption. Borycki, E. et. al. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal3, 51–62 (2011).

OVERVIEW

This paper identifies 3 main issues to adoption of e-health technologies - lack of technological knowledge with practitioners, shortage of individuals with technological expertise, and lack of access to e-health technologies - and presents a solution to overcome these barriers. The solution hinges on an inclusive web-based platform designed to provide medical professionals and students access to electronic health records.

KEY FEATURES

Health professionals learn about EHRs in one of three ways: (1) lecture or lab work, (2) course on health informatics where the student has exposure to only one type of a EHR, (3) during a real-world clinical practical or internship experience, learning not only how to manage a patient’s care, but they are also learning about how to use the EHR to document and support their decision making.

Through the developed portal students could work with differing types of EHRs prior to working in real-world settings.

  • In a safe environment (classroom, lab) students could learn to use and critique the technology.
  • Students could begin to realize both the strengths and limitations of EHRs.

BOTTOM LINE

This paper describes the development of a web portal that allows student access to multiple different types of EHR over the web. The authors describe how the system was being used in educational curricula and how it has overcome many of the barriers to EHR adoption. This work integrates use of real technology into the basic education of medical, nursing, and health informatics students in a cost-effective manner.

COMMENTARY

Being web-based, this idea is portable and flexible. The nature of independent medical practice means students may encounter a number of different EHR systems, and the systems will change over time. This solution is practical even in a low-resource setting with access to the portal. Additionally, the paper details the current state of EHR learning and barrier to implementation in a simple and comprehensive way. 4/5 Checks.