Title of Work

Creating a Simulated Electronic Health Record Educational Tool

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

Fall 10-19-2019

City of Publication or Presentation

Las Vegas, NV


Technological Roundtable Presentation


Since the inception of electronic health records (EHR), the American Occupational Association (AOTA) has been in the forefront of technology by advocating with Congress and with federal agencies to ensure that EHRs capture information about occupational therapy (OT) services received by clients (De Leon Arabit, 2010). Troxell and Moyers (2004) stated that OTs must develop skills in informatics to ensure that EHRs facilitate OT practice.

Today, EHRs have become essential for clinical practice in the United States, and as a result, OT and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) practitioners are increasingly using EHRs to document their services. OT students are expected to use this technology in a proficient manner for collaborative and interprofessional care. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires OT/OTA programs to instruct entry-level students in technology that may include electronic documentation systems, distance communication, virtual environments and telehealth (Standard B.1.8) (ACOTE, 2012).

In 2017, Dmytrk and De Angelis studied the awareness and use of EHR in entry-level OT/OTA curricula. They found a high prevalence of OT programs having courses that include EHR in the curricula as an awareness of the technology, but the main barrier for incorporating instruction of EHR in curricula was lack of access to EHR teaching resources. Respondents cited accessibility concerns due to limited availability, lack of vendor support, an expense not included in program budgets, and technical conflicts with university computer systems.

St. Catherine University OTA program (on-campus and online) has also experienced these same barriers for incorporating EHR instruction in our curriculum. To meet the needs and challenges of the changing health care system, as well as ACOTE standards, an OTA faculty member (OTR), in collaboration with an Instructional Designer from Orbis Education, has created a free simulated EHR educational tool. The simulated EHR tool will include the use of the AOTA Occupational Profile template as an assessment, and incorporate integrated case studies across the lifespan throughout the curriculum. The simulated EHR tool can be modified to include information from various interprofessional health care providers to meet the AOTA Vision 2025 guideposts of collaborative and effective care (AOTA, 2016). Further, the real-world simulated EHR experience will enhance and strengthen students’ clinical thinking, documentation and intervention planning competencies.

Link to URL of accompanying or supplemental material

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. (2012). 2011 Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) Standards. American Journal of Occupational therapy, 66(Suppl. 6), s6-s74.

De Leon Arabit, L. (2010). Preparing for Electronic Documentation. OT Practice, 15(12), 13-16.

Dmytryk, L. F. & DeAngelis, T. M. (2017). Awareness and Use of Electronic Health Records in Entry-Level Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant Curricula. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy: 5(2), Article 11. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1311

Troxell, C., & Moyers, P. A. (2004). Continuing Competence: Informatics: The emerging competency. OT Practice, 9(8), 8.

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