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Research article
Experience of introducing an electronic health records station in an objective structured clinical examination to evaluate medical students’ communication skills in Canada: a descriptive study  
Kuan-chin Jean Chen, Ilona Bartman, Debra Pugh, David Topps, Isabelle Desjardins, Melissa Forgie, Douglas Archibald
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2023;20:22.   Published online July 4, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2023.20.22
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Purpose
There is limited literature related to the assessment of electronic medical record (EMR)-related competencies. To address this gap, this study explored the feasibility of an EMR objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) station to evaluate medical students’ communication skills by psychometric analyses and standardized patients’ (SPs) perspectives on EMR use in an OSCE.
Methods
An OSCE station that incorporated the use of an EMR was developed and pilot-tested in March 2020. Students’ communication skills were assessed by SPs and physician examiners. Students’ scores were compared between the EMR station and 9 other stations. A psychometric analysis, including item total correlation, was done. SPs participated in a post-OSCE focus group to discuss their perception of EMRs’ effect on communication.
Results
Ninety-nine 3rd-year medical students participated in a 10-station OSCE that included the use of the EMR station. The EMR station had an acceptable item total correlation (0.217). Students who leveraged graphical displays in counseling received higher OSCE station scores from the SPs (P=0.041). The thematic analysis of SPs’ perceptions of students’ EMR use from the focus group revealed the following domains of themes: technology, communication, case design, ownership of health information, and timing of EMR usage.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated the feasibility of incorporating EMR in assessing learner communication skills in an OSCE. The EMR station had acceptable psychometric characteristics. Some medical students were able to efficiently use the EMRs as an aid in patient counseling. Teaching students how to be patient-centered even in the presence of technology may promote engagement.

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions