Plugged In to Patients and Families: Making the Most of Electronic Medical Records

The electronic medical record is rapidly becoming a standard part of health care in the United States. Our nation’s health care providers, however, have limited information on how to best use this technology in ways that preserve — and even enhance — relationships with patients and families. With support from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Sarah E. Peyre, Ed.D., who was recently appointed assistant dean for Interprofessional Education at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is working to change that.

The Foundation has selected Peyre as a Class of 2014 Macy Faculty Scholar and, over the next two years, will support Peyre’s efforts to identify, develop, and implement best practices for integrating electronic medical records into patient- and family-centered care at UR Medicine.

“When patients, their families, and providers interact, their communication used to be verbal or nonverbal,” Peyre says. “We now have a third dimension: verbal, nonverbal, and electronic.”

Peyre will explore such issues as how UR Medicine clinicians can best divide their attention between patients and electronic devices in the room, and what kind of devices work best in different health care settings at UR Medicine. Peyre, who is director of the University’s Center for Experiential Learning, will also create and pilot a curriculum to train students and clinicians in best practices for electronic medical records use. The curriculum could be shared across the country.

“The University of Rochester has long been considered a leader in our approaches to health professions education. Dr. Peyre is carrying on that tradition by developing a model for electronic medical records use that puts patients and families first,” says Mark B. Taubman, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The Foundation’s support will help accelerate the innovative work she has been doing in this field, and bring her findings to a national stage.”

Launched four years ago, the Macy Faculty Scholars program is designed to identify and nurture the careers of educational innovators in medicine and nursing. Peyre is one of only six 2014 Macy Faculty Scholars selected from a highly competitive pool of 91 applicants.

“”The way we educate and train health professionals has not kept pace with changes in health care delivery,” said George Thibault, M.D., president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “As a Macy Faculty Scholar, Dr. Peyre will help drive much needed innovation and reform in health professions education to better prepare the next generation of health professionals to provide patient- and family-centered care.”

Peyre’s mentor, David R. Lambert, M.D., senior associate dean for Medical Student Education, and Professor Emerita Madeline H. Schmitt, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, FNAP, will provide guidance during the project.

Read the full story on the University of Rochester Medical Center page here.


About UR Medicine

UR Medicine is the University of Rochester’s health care system. It includes Strong Memorial Hospital (and its inpatient and outpatient components such as Golisano Children’s Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Center, and Flaum Eye Institute), University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, Highland Hospital, Thompson Health, Eastman Dental, The Highlands at Brighton, The Highlands Living Center, Visiting Nurse Service, and a range of clinical programs serving patients across western New York. Follow us on Twitter @UR_Med

About the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation is the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving the health of the public by advancing the education and training of health professionals. Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked toward its mission of improving health care in the United States. Follow us on Twitter @macyfoundation and learn more at

For Media Inquiries:
Julie Philipp
(585) 275-1309