Context: The effective use of electronic records (ie, electronic health/medical records) is essential to professional initiatives and the overall advancement of the athletic training profession. However, evidence suggests comprehensive patient care documentation and wide-spread use of electronic records is still limited in athletic training. The lack of formal training and education for clinicians and students are often cited as primary barriers to electronic records use. Other healthcare disciplines have used academic electronic health records (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 can address these challenges and encourage more effective use of electronic records, and describe strategies for deploying AEHRs within 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 EHR, 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 the use of an AEHR can improve knowledge and enhance skills. Specifically, AEHR use has been associated with enhanced attitudes toward EHR technology, enhanced informatics competencies, and improved documentation skills. Also, the use of an AEHR has been associated with improved critical thinking and decision-making skills. AEHRs appear to be valuable tools for health professions education and athletic training stands to benefit from AEHR 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.