First-year medical student Trinithas Boyi and Andrew B. Symons, MD, look over an electronic medical record. Symons directs the clinical skills course for first-year students.

First-Year Students Gain Experience With EMR Use

Published February 11, 2020

The groundbreaking collaboration between the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the Great Lakes Integrated Medical Record (GLIMR) and Cerner Corporation may be the only program of its kind in the United States.

“Documentation of the clinical encounter is an important skill for the student physician. ”
Clinical associate professor of family medicine and director of the first-year clinical skills course
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Pioneering Collaboration a Unique Effort

About 180 students were introduced to the electronic medical records (EMR) system — a critical tool in modern health care — during an interactive demonstration in October. The same system is in use at UBMD Physicians’ Group.

“Documentation of the clinical encounter is an important skill for the student physician,” says Andrew B. Symons, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine, who is also vice chair for medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine and director of the first-year clinical skills course.

“When students begin clinical rotations in the third year of medical school, they all need to utilize an EMR,” he notes. “As our community more widely adopts GLIMR, students will be using the system in most of their inpatient and outpatient clinical rotations.”

Student ‘Super Users’ Support Their Peers

Before the program was implemented, students wrote up their clinical encounters using Microsoft Word and then submitted their reports to seminar leaders for review, Symons says.

Now, students record their patient encounters in the Cerner EMR educational domain and forward the note to their seminar group leader, “much the way residents forward notes to the attending physician,” he says.

The October demonstration covered chart review and documentation in the electronic system and was led by a Cerner consultant.

Thirty-five of the medical students signed up to become “super users” to support their peers. According to Symons, this “very engaged” group of super users has helped work out technical issues regarding student access to the system.

Documenting Patient History in Digital Format

Although the program is still in the rollout stage, Symons anticipates having first-year students use the system beginning with the spring 2020 semester.

“Our hope is that by the time students enter their third year they will be quite facile with the EMR,” Symons says. “We even expect they will be offering insights to their attending physicians and administrators.”

Great Lakes Health System of Western New York is the GLIMR planning entity comprised of Kaleida Health, the University at Buffalo, Erie County Medical Center and The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care.

Kaleida Health began rolling out the GLIMR system in February 2019. When complete, the multiyear project will result in a record that will document a patient’s entire medical history in a single, consistent digital format.

Cerner is a U.S.-based, multinational company that provides health information technology software, services, devices and hardware to medical practices, long-term care facilities, retail pharmacies and laboratories.