Simulated EHR, aka Simulated Electronic Health Records, is a simulated version of a patient’s digital medical history. Also referred to as Simulated EMR, or Simulated Electronic Medical Records, this electronically stored health information offers real-time patient-centered records that are instantly available, reliable, and secure — and in a simulated way that allows educators to teach and train learners in the best practices for managing patient records. EHR data can be used in any healthcare simulation lab to provide realistic patient cases for curricula, like that of an EMR instructor course.
Going beyond treatment and diagnostic information, EHR Simulation offers more in-depth insight into a patient’s overall degree of wellness. EMR systems present a more comprehensive view of a patient’s care exceeding the standard clinical data provided by a physician. Instead, EHR systems document all elements of care such as laboratory results, radiology images, immunizations and dates, allergy testing, and more.
With EMR for education, healthcare professionals and learners can navigate evidence-based tools to make important decisions about a patient’s individualized care. EHR for education can also help to automate and streamline provider workflow, helping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a facility or institution’s widespread treatment and care of patients.
A pivotal way in which simulated EHR can help establish a foundation for clinical information across a healthcare system is by allowing providers to create and closely manage the digital format. They can collaborate with other providers within their system or share information with providers across other healthcare systems when necessary.
Digitally, external laboratories, imaging centers, pharmacies, emergency clinics, and specialists can almost instantly receive the information necessary to offer insight and provide clinical assistance regarding a patient’s case. Any authorized provider can offer insight and expertise into a patient’s care through EHR education technology.
Across these disciplines and settings, the use of simulated EMR can help to strengthen the relationship between providers and patients. Further, the timeliness and data availability presented by simulated EHR can enable providers to make better informed decisions to provide increased levels of care and patient safety.
EHR in education can also work to reduce the incidence of medical errors by improving the clarity and accuracy of patient records. Simulated EHR can lead to a reduced number of duplicated tests, fewer delays in treatment and more thorough and readily available data.
EMR Simulations Available Across Educational Environments
Today, many colleges, universities, vocational schools and secondary education institutions are teaching EHR education. Free EHR simulation for students are available within many of these environments, and are designed to provide learners with the introduction necessary to manage and manipulate EMR across real-life workplace settings.
For example, some colleges have created free EHR for nursing students that include practice and simulation in nursing education activities to prepare them for employment. These simulation in nursing activities are also a way for learners to familiarize themselves with the technology required to utilize the features and functions incorporated into an EMR system.
By using open source EHR systems, including those built with Adobe Captivate, prior to entering the workforce, learners are given the opportunity to enter information and receive robust feedback and assessments. This can give them an advantage when they apply for healthcare positions in which EMR are in place.
Typically, when EHR in education is included in a course curriculum, educators will create assignments for learners to practice inputting patient chart information and care plans. Then, scenarios are run in a sim lab to add realism to the learner experiences, incorporating documentation as a part of the EMR simulation. As most EHR simulators are customizable, the training becomes matched with the authenticity of evidence-based patient records. Many programs also incorporate competencies required for Quality and Safety in Nursing Education standards into their lessons.
Simulated EHR Healthcare Simulation Platforms
One learning application that uses EMR for education is EHR Go, a product of Archetype Innovations. This medical simulation platform was developed for all healthcare disciplines with over 600 customizable, realistic patients and activities to help teach learners to make smart decisions while instilling a human-centered approach to their medical practice.
EHR Go’s patient cases and activities are built around the diverse and realistic human stories healthcare professionals see every day. The application includes cases, from simple to complex, that illustrate every chief complaint, comorbid condition and clinical scenario possible. The platform’s creators wanted to encourage learners to see the holistic nature of healthcare while becoming proficient in the technology.
With EHR Go, nursing learners are educated on EMR technology needed to practice human-centered care. Hundreds of diverse patients teach and illustrate key concepts throughout a simulation in nursing curricula, from pathophysiology to pharmacology and medical-surgical. Educators can then assign cases as homework to promote critical thinking and hone documentation skills.
Technology solutions provider KbPort has developed the SimEMR, which is an interactive, web-based, simulated electronic medical record solution as well. This platform enables learners to gain insight into how to electronically chart in healthcare environments. SimEMR brings clinical documentation to the simulation lab and classroom for present and future nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, and many other healthcare disciplines.
SimEMR’s step-by-step process mirrors real-life patient care and takes the learner from a patient profile and charting objectives (SimEMR) to medication dispensing (SimCartRx and SimCabRx lines). This EHR simulation training solution allows learners to practice inputting information and other important elements of patient health in addition to sharing this information with other key providers. Educators can then, through the use of KbPort ETC FusionHD (not included with SimEMR), debrief their learner in the most complete and efficient way available.
Another EHR education platform is OpenEMR, a free, open source electronic health records and medical practice management solution. Headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, this platform is designed for ambulatory (outpatient) facilities, and OpenEMR is Meaningful Use Stage 1 certified. International users benefit from a royalty-free license with affordable infrastructure solutions available via both Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
Learners can use this EMR tool as an introductory, easy-to-use and navigate learning system. The company strives to improve the health care delivery system globally by providing low-cost solutions to clinics big and small. OpenEMR’s goal is to employ passionate volunteers and contributors dedicated to guarding the solution’s status as a free, open source software solution for medical practices with a commitment to openness, kindness and cooperation.
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