Medical/Dental Professionals

Medical Students Training in the EMR at UB’s Medical School

About 180 first-year medical students got their first taste of GLIMR, the Cerner-based Great Lakes Integrated Medical Record, during an interactive demonstration at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in late October.

“Documentation of the clinical encounter is an important skill for the student physician,” said Andrew Symons, MD, MS, vice chair for medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine at the Jacobs School 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. As our community more widely adopts GLIMR, students will be using the system in most of their inpatient and outpatient clinical rotations.”

A groundbreaking collaboration between the Jacobs School, Great Lakes Health System and Cerner, the new training program allows first-year medical students to practice documentation in an EMR that is identical to the one used in the UBMD clinical space. It is quite possibly the only EMR educational program of its kind in the nation.

“Up till now, students have been documenting their clinical encounters in Microsoft Word and submitting them to seminar leaders for review,” said Symons. “Students will now be writing up their patient encounters in the educational domain of the Cerner EMR and forwarding the note to their seminar group leader, much in the same way residents forward notes to the attending physician.”

The GLIMR demo was led by Cerner Senior Learning Consultant David Shao. It covered chart review and documentation in the EMR. Students were highly engaged and asked many questions. Thirty-five of them volunteered to become “super users” to help support their peers.

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

Improved learning and work environments are essential to addressing the problem of physician burnout. Rehan Waheed, MD, physician executive from Cerner, told students that although EMR documentation time is an easy target for surveys of physicians, “If you learn to use it well it can actually be used to prevent burnout.”