Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Academic EHRs vs. Regular EHRs: Part Two

As an addition to our previous post on Academic Electronic Health Records (EHRs), we'd like to add another feature to consider when comparing academic EHRs to regular ones.

Academic EHRs may allow you to interact with your students in ways a typical EHR or EMR system would not.

For example, when using an Academic EHR like EHR Tutor an instructor is able to create activities, view student responses and grade assignments. Presumably, if an instructor used a regular EHR or EMR meant for hospital/office use, he/she would be able to view any patient charts completed by a student, but would be unable to grade or comment on a chart within the system. That's assuming a class was using a typical EHR for classroom use only.

Of course the possibilities change when using an actual, functioning EHR during clinicals. Because an instructor would probably not have access to those patient charts after leaving the clinical site, grading or discussing work done after clinicals would prove difficult. Also, using actual charts on real patients (if allowed by the clinical site) involves all HIPPA and other privacy concerns.

All of those concerns are diminished with an academic EHR.

If an instructor was using the an academic EHR purely in the classroom, he/she could create an activity with instructions for a "patient". Then, when students logged in they would view a "patient" with previously completed charts which included instructions for what to do next (for example: In "nasal gastric insertion activity", chart insertion and assessment. When finished, complete documentation for the activity.) The student would then be able to complete the proper documentation and submit the activity for review. On the instructor side, all submitted activities would be visible and, if necessary, available for grading.

In a clinical setting, students would be able to chart actual patient procedures and documentation on an iPad, laptop or mobile device using a fake preloaded "patient". That way, all privacy would be protected, but the resulting chart could be brought back into the classroom, allowing instructors to review the patient with the classroom or student.

Those two examples are, of course, just a few of the many ways an academic EHR could be used to directly interact with students which is something not always available using a standard EHR/EMR program.