Activity 17: Interview a Provider about Charting or the Use of Medical Records



Activity: Interview a health care provider about charting or the use of an electronic medical records system.
Students will learn about charting processes and the transfer of medical information.
Students will discover the provider’s role in using an electronic medical records system.
Student will obtain the provider’s opinion on electronic medical records systems in general as well as its effect on patient-provider relationship.
 Any healthcare clinic or facility that utilizes a charting or electronic medical records system.
Recommended Preparatory Readings:
Manca, D. P. (2015). Do electronic medical records improve quality of care?: Yes. Canadian Family Physician, 61(10), 846–847. Retrieved from
Lee, W.W., Alkureishi, M.A., Ukabiala, O. et al. (2016). Patient perceptions of electronic medical record use by faculty and resident physicians: A mixed methods study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 31(11), 1315-1322. Retrieved from
Time Commitment:
Variable based on time spent shadowing and shadowing site. Allow 15-20 minutes for note-taking.  
Appropriate For:
Undergraduate or graduate level college students in health or health-related professions or individuals interested in pursuing a career in health care.
Activity Description:
1.         While a provider is away from the floor, perhaps in their office, ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing their experiences with electronic medical records systems in an interview. You might consider the following questions:
What time of day, or what part of your schedule do you normally take the time to update or review medical records?
On average, how much of your day do you spend interacting with the electronic medical records (EMR) system?
What was your experience while first learning the system? Was it challenging or fairly self-explanatory?
What are some features of the EMR system that you believe are advantageous to your practice or your patients? Are there some downsides as well?
How do you feel it has impacted your relationship with patients? Has it streamlined any parts of the process, like creating referrals, working with insurance, or writing prescriptions? Or has it decreased the face-to-face aspects of the relationship?
2.         If it is possible without committing a HIPAA violation, ask the provider if they could briefly demonstrate charting in the system. While observing, take note of the following:
Appearance - does it look cluttered, organized, or overwhelming? Does it look user-friendly?
Ease of Use - how many clicks did it take for the provider to get to his intended screen or view?
Security - did it ask for a password, or other form of verification, at any time during the doctor’s demonstration?
Content - were there different types of medical information stored? What was the depth of the information stored in the system? Does the provider feel they can appropriately note diagnoses or observation?
3.         Using your data from the interview and answers to the questions above, write a reflective essay.
Authors: Jourdan Owens, Ryan Booth, John Pina, Keanu Gomez