Challenges Associated with Physicians' Usage of Electronic Medical Records

Challenges Associated with Physicians' Usage of Electronic Medical Records

Virginia Ilie (University of Kansas, USA), Craig Van Slyke (Saint Louis University, USA), James F. Courtney (Louisiana Tech University, USA) and Philip Styne (Digestive Health Florida Hospital Orlando, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jhisi.2009070103
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Using the Theory of Planned Behavior, institutional and diffusion theories as theoretical foundations, this study investigates physicians’ attitudes towards and usage of electronic medical records (EMR). Interviews with seventeen physician-residents enrolled in a Family Practice residency program and eight attending physicians in the same clinic showed that most physicians held rather negative attitudes regarding the EMR system. EMR was often times seen as an intrusion in the patient-physician interaction. Other findings relate to how EMR impacts physicians’ time, expertise, and learning, as well as the length (and sometimes the accuracy) of clinical notes. Challenges associated with behavioral control issues such as availability of computers and the physical positioning of computers are shown to be very important in the context of this case. In this organization, physician-residents are required to use EMR because of its mandatory nature, however, if they had a choice or the power, the majority of them would use the paper chart.

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