Electronic Health Record (EHR) Diffusion and an Examination of Physician Resistance

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Diffusion and an Examination of Physician Resistance

Kristen MacIver (Northern Michigan University, USA) and Madison N. Ngafeeson (Northern Michigan University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch319

Abstract

Since the enactment of the United States Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, there has been substantial progress in the diffusion of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in medical clinics throughout the United States. Many physicians, however, continue to resist adopting EHR technology despite several accepted, long-term benefits and available government sponsored financial incentives. The objective of this article is to provide insight into the question as to why physicians are resistant to adopting EHR technology. This article details several of the benefits of EHR systems and uses a systematic review of literature to critically analyze and detail the most common perceived physician barriers to the adoption of EHRs. With the awareness of the major physician barriers to the adoption of EHR technology, stakeholders and policy makers can address barriers and pursue actions to mitigate or reduce physician resistance to achieve nationwide diffusion targets and pursue initiatives to digitize all patient records.
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Background

An EHR can be defined as a digitally stored record of an individual’s healthcare information used for supporting the continuity of care, education, and research (Ajami & Arab-Chadegani, 2013). The Health Information Technology for Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was enacted as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, served as a turning point in the evolution of EHR technology in the United States. The HITECH Act was signed into law with the explicit intention of accelerating the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) by physicians, and since its enactment, the program has distributed billions of dollars to physicians for adopting certified EHRs through the meaningful use (MU) program (Mennemeyer, Menachemi, Rahurkar, & Ford, 2016). One research study noted that through December 2015, the federal government had made $13 billion worth of EHR incentive payments to physicians and other eligible professionals who met stage 1 of meaningful use (Cohen, 2016). Overall, the stimulus act included a requirement that grant recipients achieve all meaningful-use requirements, including interoperability, by the end of 2017 (Sandler, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Meaningful Use: The U.S. government mandate of 2010 requiring an eligible provider to use certified technology to meet specified government benchmark outcomes.

Electronic Health Records (EHR): A digital record of an individual’s healthcare that is collected over their lifetime.

EHR Diffusion: The adoption or spread of EHRs.

EHR Resistance: The opposition to accepting EHR technology.

EHR Adoption Barrier: An obstacle that restricts, prevents, or discourages the adoption of EHRs.

EHR Technology Adoption: The selection and use of EHR technology.

Healthcare Stakeholders: An individual or group with interest in the progression and technological advancement of healthcare.

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