Background: Although several national organizations have declared the ability to work with electronic health records (EHRs) as a core competency of medical education, EHR education and use among medical students vary widely. Previous studies have reported EHR tasks performed by medical students, but students’ self-perceived readiness and comfort with EHRs are relatively unknown. Objective: This study aimed to better understand medical students’ self-perceived readiness to use EHRs to identify potential curricular gaps and inform future training efforts based on students’ perspectives. Methods: The authors deployed a survey investigating self-perceived comfort with EHRs at 2 institutions in the United States in May 2019. Descriptive statistics were generated regarding demographics, comfort level with various EHR-related tasks, and cross-institutional comparisons. We also assessed the impact of extracurricular EHR experience on comfort level. Results: In total, 147 medical students responded, of which 80 (54.4%) were female, with equal distribution across all 4 years of training. Overall confidence was generally higher for students with longer extracurricular EHR experience, even when adjusted for age, gender, year of training, and institution. Students were most comfortable with tasks related to looking up information in the EHR and felt less comfortable with tasks related to entering new information and managing medications. Fourth-year students at both schools reported similar levels of comfort with EHR use, despite differences in preclinical EHR training. Open-ended comments emphasized the value of experiential training over didactic formats. Conclusions: Information entry and medication management in the EHR represent areas for future curricular development. Experiential training via extracurricular activities and early clinical exposure may be high-yield approaches to help medical students achieve critical EHR competencies.
- Electronic health record
- Medical student
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications