The Critical Need for Advanced Training in Electronic Records Use: Implications for Clinical Practice, Education, and the Advancement of Athletic Training

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: The effective use of electronic records (ie, electronic health records or electronic medical records) is essential to professional initiatives and the overall advancement of the athletic training profession. However, evidence suggests that comprehensive patient care documentation and widespread use of electronic records are still limited in athletic training. The lack of formal training and education for clinicians and students is often cited as a primary barrier to electronic record use. Other health care disciplines have used academic electronic health record (AEHR) systems to address these barriers with promising results. Objectives: To identify common challenges associated with the effective use of electronic records in clinical practice, discuss how an AEHR system can address these challenges and encourage more effective use of electronic records, and describe strategies for deploying AEHRs in the athletic training profession. Description: The AEHR is an electronic records system specifically designed for educational use to support simulation learning among all types of learners (eg, practicing clinicians, students). Mimicking the form and function of an electronic health record, the AEHR offers various educational tasks, including patient care documentation projects, critical reviews of standardized patient cases, and assessments of patient care data for quality improvement efforts. Clinical and Research Advantages: Recent evidence suggests that the use of an AEHR can improve knowledge and enhance skills. Specifically, AEHR use has been associated with enhanced attitudes toward electronic health record technology, increased informatics competencies, and improved documentation skills. Also, the use of an AEHR has been associated with improved critical thinking and decision-making skills. This tool appears to be valuable for health professions education, and athletic training stands to benefit from its use to better train and upskill clinicians and students alike for clinical practice. Although the implementation of an AEHR will require much time and large-scale coordinated efforts, it will be a worthy investment to address current challenges and advance the athletic training profession.

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