(HealthDay News) — Electronic medical records (EMRs) may contribute positively to the education of nephrology fellows, but time demands can reduce engagement in educational activities, according to a study published onlinein the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Christina M. Yuan, M.D., from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues surveyed U.S. nephrology program directors, their faculty, and fellows (33, 387, and 216 respondents, respectively) to assess educational burdens and benefits of EMR use.

The researchers found that about half (51%) of fellows agreed/strongly agreed that the EMR contributed positively to their education, with perceived positive effects such as flexibility in access and ease of obtaining laboratory and radiology results. Copy forward errors and excessive, irrelevant documentation were included as negative effects. More than 40% reported that EMR function was slow, disrupted, or completely lost monthly or more; these respondents were significantly less likely to agree that there had been a positive contribution of the EMR to their education. Time demands of EMR completion contributed to fellows’ reluctance to perform procedures, participate in conferences, prolong patient interactions, and do patient-directed reading (52, 57, 74, and 55%, respectively). Due to documentation time demands, 65% of fellows reported often/sometimes exceeding work-hour limits.

“The time demands of data and order entry reduces engagement in educational activities, contributes to work-hour violations, and stifles direct patient interactions,” the authors write.

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One author is employed as a research physician at AstraZeneca.


Yuan CM, Little DJ, Marks ES, et al. The Electronic Medical Record and Nephrology Fellowship Education in the United States: An Opinion Survey. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. June 2020, CJN.14191119. doi: 10.2215/CJN.14191119

Olson APJ and Rosenberg ME. From Nihilism to Opportunity: The Educational Potential of the Electronic Health Record. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. June 2020, CJN.07260520. doi: 10.2215/CJN.07260520