EMR System and VistA CPRS Simulations

Brief Overview

Bellevue College has created free hands-on practice activities to provide students with meaningful exposure to electronic health records to help prepare them for employment. Though primarily designed for Nursing and Allied Health students, the simulations are also a great way to familiarize IT and Health IT students with common features and functions of an EMR system.

The simulations give students an important opportunity to learn about and practice using two open source EMR systems:

  1. OpenEMR: an outpatient system
  2. VistA CPRS: the inpatient system used throughout the US Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers

The simulations, built with Adobe Captivate, provide:

  • instruction in selected EMR features and functions
  • practice activities that give students a chance to enter information and receive robust feedback
  • assessments

Easy Access

To access the simulations, students simply click on a web link (below) on our website or through your institution’s website or LMS. They then select Launch and they have full access. There are no log-ins or passwords required, and there are no fees.

Simulation Topics and Student Audience

Allied Health, Nursing, and IT/HIT students can benefit from experiencing all of the simulations, but we’ve indicated below which groups may find the different topics most relevant.


OpenEMR Simulations

OpenEMR is a free, Open Source, electronic medical records (EMR) and medical practice management system designed for ambulatory (outpatient) facilities. Open EMR is Meaningful Use Stage 1 certified. It’s a great system for students to use as their first foray into electronic medical records, as it’s intuitive and easy to navigate.

Four OpenEMR outpatient simulations, each about one hour long, are available on the following topics.

  1. Scheduling (Ideal for Medical Receptionist students)
  2. Clinical Intake (Ideal for Medical Assisting students)
  3. Clinical Assessment (Ideal for Nursing students)
  4. Basic EMR Administration (Ideal for Medical Receptionist students)

VistA Simulations

VistA CPRS (Computerized Patient Record System) is the comprehensive electronic medical record component of the VistA hospital management system used in the US Department of Veterans Administration health care facilities. It is heavily focused on inpatient care. This system provides exposure to numerous inpatient care elements, such as writing orders, posting clinical warnings, asking for consults, and documenting clinical assessment results. Exposure to this system is especially helpful for nursing students.

Three VistA inpatient simulations, each about one hour long, ideal for Nursing students, are available on the following topics:

  1. Introduction to VistA, Introduction to CPRS
  2. VistA CP Flowsheets Module, Shift Handoff Tool, and Progress Notes
  3. Admission Assessment (Admin Assess) Module