The use of electronic health records in medical education provides more benefit than harm on balance, but researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine intend to create formal guidelines to help medical students take full advantage of EHR data while also protecting patients' privacy.

Gregory E. Brisson, M.D., and colleagues recently explored the topic in a paper published in Academic Medicine. According to the article, tracking a patient’s progress via their electronic health records has the potential to compromise that patient’s autonomy, their control over the collection and use of data about themselves, and may even increase their anxiety and reluctance to seek care.

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