Exploring Residents’ Interactions With Electronic Health Records in Primary Care Encounters

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Electronic Health Records (EHR) are becoming widespread within the health care system. Because of this, much of the training of doctors includes the use of EHRs; literature is being published examining the training involving EHRs. However, there is not much examination on how EHRs are affecting residency training.[1] The paper attempts to find out how different levels of residency are being affected by the new technology.


The type of study used was a field study. Twelve family medical physicians who were residents in training were observed over the course of 38 patient visits; out of the twelve physicians, four were first-year residents, four were second-year residents, and four were third-year residents.[1] The physicians’ use of EHRs were tracked through the use of video recording and surveys given after the observation was completed.[1] The video recordings were quantified based on eye gaze and typing and statistical analyses were conducted.


Out of all the residents, the ones that were in their third year of residency had the greatest amount of time spent with the EHRs. Third-year residents also were the physicians with the most amount of time spent typing in data into the EHR. Interaction between patients and residents did not show a significant difference between the three levels of residents.


Because of the use of the EHR and the outcome of the observation, it is thought that there is a progression of EHR usage as the residency experience increases. However, this high usage of the EHR seems to come at a cost. One explanation is that the first-year residents have a lack of experience with the EHR, thus contributing to the lack of attention to the EHR.[1] The other explanation is due to the way the residents’ schedules are coordinated.[1]


This is an interesting study due to the group involved. As the paper noted, little study has been done on the impact EHRs have on residents, let alone different levels of residency. This paper serves as a foundation to see how EHRs are doing with residents.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Asan, O., Kushner, K., & Montague, E. (2015). Exploring Residents’ Interactions With Electronic Health Records in Primary Care Encounters. Fam Med, 47(9), 722–726. http://www.stfm.org/FamilyMedicine/Vol47Issue9/Asan722