ABSTRACT: Medical education in an electronic health record-mediated world.
This paper reflects on the extent to which we are preparing learners for practice in an electronic health record (EHR)-mediated world. We are currently training the last generation to remember a world without the Internet and the first who will practice in a largely EHR-mediated practice environment. We undertook a thematic review of the literature connecting medical education with e-health using the concepts of ‘electronic health record’ or ‘electronic medical record’ as a proxy for the broader notion of e-health. Our findings are more equivocal and cautious than earlier commentators might have expected and while there are examples of good practice and successful integration, the majority of articles we reviewed raised issues and problems with the current links between EHRs and medical education. Medical professionals in particular are quite ambivalent about many of the changes brought about by EHRs, and in the absence of changes in perception and practice it is likely that the connections between medical education and e-health will continue to be problematic. We hope that this paper will lead to an improved understanding of these problems and will serve to advance the discourse on how medical education should engage with the world of e-health and the world of e-health with medical education.