How to Teach a Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS) Curriculum

Today, the health care industry needs more certified electronic health records specialists (CEHRS) than ever before.

An aging population, higher rates of insurance, and a growing cultural emphasis on healthy living all contribute to the growing need for CEHRS.

After all, every person who seeks health care needs a permanent, private record of their medical history.

That means doctors’ offices, private practices, hospitals, physical therapists, and every kind of health care facility needs an extensive staff of CEHRS.

But how do you actually teach students so that they learn everything they need to pass the CEHRS certification and begin their careers?

These are the five best ways to teach CEHRS certification prep in your classroom:

  1. Start with the basics of record-keeping
  2. Discuss your own experiences in record-keeping
  3. Teach HIPAA standards
  4. Cover the CEHRS exam layout
  5. Use a digital curriculum


On this page, we'll explain why you need to follow these steps and give you some ideas along the way.

Let's get to it!

1. Start with the Basics of Record-Keeping


While medical records are strictly regulated in terms of privacy and content, medical practitioners and insurance companies have some freedom in the format of their records.

This is important to teach to students so they know that they won’t be ready for work just because they are certified. They’ll have to learn on the job a little bit, too!

Still, you can cover some of the more common medical record-keeping concepts in your classroom.

The SOAP method is a great place to start.

This record-keeping strategy is based on four tenants:

  1. Subjective information: The patient’s complaints, symptoms, etc.
  2. Objective information: Physical examination of the patient
  3. Assessment: Thoughts, suspicions, and reasoning for diagnoses
  4. Plan: Treatment layout from the doctor

This method is used so much because it maintains thorough records of interactions with medical clients. At the same time, it doesn’t create a 100-page dissertation every time a patient sees a doctor.

That means medical records are filled with important information that practitioners can find at a glance whenever they need.

Many organizations don’t use the SOAP method, though. Instead, they use their own format depending on the medical help they offer.

For example, a CEHRS in a hospital might have to write up a 10-page report for a single patient. Charts, graphs, anecdotes, prescriptions, test results, and other important information all need to be logged to cover that patient and the hospital’s responsibilities.

While a student’s future career may differ significantly from the methods you present, it’s still smart to show them different methods so they have an idea of what the workplace is like.

You can help them prepare even more by including the next step in your lessons as well.

2. Discuss Your Own Experiences in Record-Keeping


Students can benefit from learning about your personal experiences in record-keeping just as much as what students learn from books.  

The stories you share add color to the information students learn, and you can shape their expectations of what it’s like to work as a CEHRS.

Your challenges, triumphs, fears, and hard-earned lessons are all valuable bits of information to pass onto your students.

The more they know, the more prepared they can be when they earn their CEHRS certification.

The more prepared they are, the more certain they can be that a career as a CEHRS is right for them.

As you talk about your experiences, it’s often smart to keep the floor open to questions. Students may need to you elaborate on an idea or give them some more insight into part of the job they had never considered.

These might be interruptions to your planned lessons, but it’s rare for a single student to ask a question that only benefits them.

After all, if one student has a question, you can bet that a few others are wondering the same thing!

Once you’ve covered your own experiences in record-keeping, you can talk about the elephant in the room — HIPAA.   

3. Teach HIPAA Standards


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the keystone government regulation in medical privacy.

In a nutshell, every American has rights and ownership of their medical history.

These rights break down to four general standards in HIPAA concerning medical information. Every company involved in health care — including insurance — must follow these rules and their specifics:

  1. Companies must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI)
  2. Companies must identify and protect against threats to data security and integrity
  3. Companies must protect against anticipated users or disclosures that are not lawful or allowed
  4. Companies must ensure consistent compliance with HIPAA among their workers

However, HIPAA changes frequently. While its overarching principles are the same — keep your clients’ information secure — the details can change, especially in federal law.

Regardless, your students will be expected to follow HIPAA standards perfectly once they’re in the workplace.

HIPAA violations carry heavy fines, lawsuit potentials, and other penalties that can take down an otherwise successful business.

There’s no cutting corners, taking guesses, or showing information to unauthorized personnel.

HIPAA requires record-keepers to be cautious, protective, and thorough every day.  

Now that your students understand the background of CEHRS, it’s time to jump into the exam itself.

4. Cover the CEHRS Exam Layout


In most areas, the CEHRS exam is administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Some states may require you to go through another certification agency, and other states may certify students themselves.

Regardless, it’s common practice for these organizations to release some information about their certification exams.

For example, NHA gives students some baseline information about how the exam operates:

  • Students must have identification to take the exam
  • Testing takes place at the test-taker’s school
  • Tests may be digital or paper
  • Tests must be completed in one session
  • Tests are 100 questions
  • Tests last 110 minutes

You can help your students feel more confident by talking about your own experience taking the exam.

What challenges did you encounter? Did you spend too much time on certain questions? Did you have to take the exam multiple times to pass?

All of these details tell students what to expect. The more prepared they are to take the exam, the better their chances to succeed!

But there’s still one more method you can use to help students prepare for the CEHRS exam — you can teach your class with a digital curriculum.

5. Use a Digital Curriculum


A digital curriculum is an online teaching system that lets you create a syllabus, lecture in front of a classroom, teach with interactive lessons, and automatically track student progress all in one convenient package.

Overall, a digital curriculum is designed to dramatically cut down on the time you spend planning and grading. It also empowers you to use a variety of teaching strategies in a classroom so you can be sure your students learn the material they need to know.

This helps CEHRS students because health science is one of the most diverse career clusters in career and technical education.

You have students from every background academically, ethnically, financially, and socially. They’ll have different expectations of your class, and they’ll all have different career goals.

But they all start in your classroom.

A digital curriculum lets you blend, flip, and otherwise change your teaching strategies so that even students who fall behind can learn and reach their goals.

Some teachers have had so much success that they’ve helped 100% of their students earn certifications.

How do they do it?

They use HealthCenter21.

Try HealthCenter21 Yourself for Free

HealthCenter21 is the modern solution to teaching future medical record specialists.

With it, you can use pre-made modules, customizable assessments, real-world examples, and blended learning materials all in one convenient product.

HealthCenter21 even automatically grades and tracks students as they work!

Want to find out if HealthCenter21 is right for you?

Check out a free HealthCenter21 demo for yourself!

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