While electronic health record (EHR) use is becoming state-of-the-art, deliberate teaching of health care information technology (HCIT) competencies is not keeping pace with burgeoning use. Medical students require training to become skilled users of HCIT, but formal pedagogy within undergraduate medical education (UME) is sparse. How can medical educators best meet the needs of learners while integrating EHRs into medical education and practice? How can they help learners preserve and foster effective communication skills within the computerized setting? In general, how can UME curricula be devised for skilled use of EHRs to enhance rather than hinder provision of effective, humanistic health care?
Within this Perspective, the authors build on recent publications that “set the stage” for next steps: EHR curricula innovation and implementation as concrete embodiments of theoretical underpinnings. They elaborate on previous calls for maximizing benefits and minimizing risks of EHR use with sufficient focus on physician–patient communication skills and for developing core competencies within medical education. The authors describe bridging theory into practice with systematic longitudinal curriculum development for EHR training in UME at their institution, informed by Kern and colleagues’ curriculum development framework, narrative medicine, and reflective practice. They consider this innovation within a broader perspective—the overarching goal of empowering undergraduate medical students’ patient- and relationship-centered skills while effectively demonstrating HCIT-related skills.