Clinical Logs

Best Practices in the Design and Implementation


  • David Porter
  • Michelle Moscova



Clinical logs, medical education, electronic logging


Clinical logs as used in medical education provide data to track students’ clinical experiences and patient encounters. These data have been used to ensure consistency of experience across clinical placements, to measure compliance with course outcomes, and to enable students to identify and address gaps in their learning. A variety of paper-based and technology-assisted logging methods have been used. Electronic logs provide the advantages of convenient data access, storage, and real-time analytics, with the potential for both student and faculty access. To ensure the soundness of design and implementation of their clinical log, researchers at the University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine conducted a review of the pitfalls and best practices in using clinical logs, particularly electronic logging platforms, to ensure soundness of design and implementation of their clinical log. Briefly, the clinical log provides an excellent tool to administratively track the experiences of students in their clinical placements and to assess the gaps in their learning. However, the usefulness of the logs may be limited by the validity of the student-reported data and the students’ perceived educational benefits of the log. This presentation will discuss the purpose, benefits, challenges, and recommendations in the implementation of clinical logs in medical education.