This page is a collection of posters, slideshows and academic papers we have authored about emrU—our project to bring a real electronic medical record to our health science students prior to their clinical experience.

EMR University-Reports from the Field

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 
9:30-10:30 AM
AAMC Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois


Description: Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are a core part of our medical care delivery system and EMRs have been adopted by the majority of clinical units in academic medical centers. Many medical schools and clinical settings have added EMR training to their student’s clinical clerkship experiences. A number of AAMC institutions have taken the additional step of leveraging the EMR as an environment for teaching. These environments provide: access to simulate patient encounters via the EMR in every classroom by default; the ability for students to review medical records; and integrating inter-professional education and/or team-based care. Exposing students to an EMR early in their careers (along with the requisite training) will ease their transition from the academic to clinical setting. Students should be prepared to use the EMR, a tool proven to be here to stay, in a vendor agnostic way. This session will look at three different medical school’s approach to integrating EMRs into their curriculum. Each school will report on topics such as governance, lessons learned, future plans and data on response to these efforts. The panel will discuss some of the common best practices as well as nascent efforts to share simulated patient’s medical records between schools to create a shared library of pre-built simulated patients.

At the completion of this session, learners will be able to:

1. Formulate strategic plan to ready learners for seamless integration into EMR workplaces.
2. Gain ability to build interprofessional learning environments utilizing the EMR.
3. Be able to integrate flexible EMR skill building tools to prepare learners for use in clerkships.


  • Douglas Van Daele,MD
  • Aaron Michelfelder,MD
  • David Asprey, PhD, PA-C
  • Maureen Novak, MD

June 2014: emrU at the Group on Information Resources 

We took an overview handout and a detailed poster to the 2014 Group on Information Resources conference.

The handout gives our elevator pitch: 

  • Students now use the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) from day one of medical school, instead of day one of their clinical rotations.
  • Students effectively learned curricular content
  • Resources required, challenges (technical and cultural), and governance model

And the poster dug into the details, including: 

  • Explaining the process of building simulated patients in the educational Epic EMR software environment.
  • Background: the Epic EMR's role in medical education at Iowa prior to emrU
  • The technological and logistical infrastructure required to implement the project
  • Details of implementation and our implementation timeline
  • Examples of the content of a simulated patient's medical record
  • The most frequent challenges we encountered
  • Survey data and educational outcomes

The Group on Information Resources (GIR) is a subgroup of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

April 2014: emrU at Epic Systems Corporations 

The University of Iowa partnered with Ohio State University to give a presentation at Epic Systems Corporation’s[2] 2014 Spring Advisory Council. We shared the learning objectives of the project, presented a technical overview of the system’s configuration and addressed the main challenges inherent to the project.  

We answered many well-considered questions until we ran of time, including:

  • Can we simulate inpatient and outpatient settings? (Yes – both, at Iowa.)
  • Can students follow a patient for two years? (Yes, but student documentation wiped yearly.)
  • Can we have one patient per condition unless we need comorbidity? (Yes.)
  • Can we “recycle” [or reuse] the patient records? (Yes.)

 [2]: Epic Systems Corporation produces Epic, the vendor software that powers emrU and supports patient care at University of Iowa Health Care.

March 2014: emrU at the Central Group on Educational Affairs 

We presented a poster at the Central Group on Educational Affair’s [1] 2014 spring conference. Our poster detailed the educational objectives, need for innovation and educational outcomes of integrating emrU into the first-year medical student curriculum. 

We received positive feedback from other conference attendees, who were impressed with the project and our progress to date.

Nationwide, interest is growing in projects that bring EMRs into education.

[1]: The Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) is an annual meeting of medical schools located in the Midwest and Central Canada and affiliated with the American Association of Medical Colleges. (AAMC).