Utilisation of academic electronic medical records in pre-registration nurse education: A descriptive study



      Electronic medical records are an essential point-of-care information technology that health professionals use in standard work practice. Nurses are major users of electronic records and nursing students must be adequately prepared for these core clinical technologies within their curriculum. An academic electronic medical record is a simulated educational version of clinical systems that enables students to learn necessary informatics and technology knowledge needed to use electronic records safely and effectively before clinical practice.


      To explore how academic electronic medical records are currently used in pre-registration nurse education in Australia and New Zealand to prepare students for the clinical environment.


      Quantitative descriptive research design involving survey of pre-registration nursing programs, analysed with descriptive statistics.


      Survey results show that only 37.8% of the sample used academic electronic medical records in their programs and such implementation was relatively recent. They were primarily used in skills and simulation laboratory settings to teach essential nursing practice skills and core clinical topics, with a variety of curriculum integration approaches.


      Even though healthcare is rapidly digitising, application of academic electronic records in nurse education was not extensive across Australia and New Zealand. Gaps were identified in relation to academic-healthcare partnerships, most efficacious use, and lack of data about student preparedness for digital practice.


      Academic electronic medical records are currently underutilised in pre-registration curricula given increasing digitalisation of healthcare and need for technology ready graduates, which suggest a subsequent requirement for greater uptake by education providers.


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