Electronic health record (EHR) implementation is currently underway in Canada, as in many other countries. These ambitious projects involve many stakeholders with unique perceptions of the implementation process. EHR users have an important role to play as they must integrate the EHR system into their work environments and use it in their everyday activities. Users hold valuable, first-hand knowledge of what can limit or contribute to the success of EHR implementation projects. A comprehensive synthesis of EHR users' perceptions is key to successful future implementation. This systematic literature review was aimed to synthesize current knowledge of the barriers and facilitators influencing shared EHR implementation among its various users.
Covering a period from 1999 to 2009, a literature search was conducted on nine electronic databases. Studies were included if they reported on users' perceived barriers and facilitators to shared EHR implementation, in healthcare settings comparable to Canada. Studies in all languages with an empirical study design were included. Quality and relevance of the studies were assessed. Four EHR user groups were targeted: physicians, other health care professionals, managers, and patients/public. Content analysis was performed independently by two authors using a validated extraction grid with pre-established categorization of barriers and facilitators for each group of EHR users.
Of a total of 5,695 potentially relevant publications identified, 117 full text publications were obtained after screening titles and abstracts. After review of the full articles, 60 publications, corresponding to 52 studies, met the inclusion criteria. The most frequent adoption factors common to all user groups were design and technical concerns, ease of use, interoperability, privacy and security, costs, productivity, familiarity and ability with EHR, motivation to use EHR, patient and health professional interaction, and lack of time and workload. Each user group also identified factors specific to their professional and individual priorities.
This systematic review presents innovative research on the barriers and facilitators to EHR implementation. While important similarities between user groups are highlighted, differences between them demonstrate that each user group also has a unique perspective of the implementation process that should be taken into account.
In Canada, federal, provincial, and territorial governments are developing an ambitious project to implement an interoperable electronic health record (EHR). Benefits for patients, healthcare professionals, organizations, and the public in general are expected. However, adoption of an interoperable EHR remains an important issue because many previous EHR projects have failed due to the lack of integration into practices and organizations. Furthermore, perceptions of the EHR vary between end-user groups, adding to the complexity of implementing this technology. Our aim is to produce a comprehensive synthesis of actual knowledge on the barriers and facilitators influencing the adoption of an interoperable EHR among its various users and beneficiaries.
First, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific literature and other published documentation on the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the EHR. Standardized literature search and data extraction methods will be used. Studies' quality and relevance to inform decisions on EHR implementation will be assessed. For each group of EHR users identified, barriers and facilitators will be categorized and compiled using narrative synthesis and meta-analytical techniques. The principal factors identified for each group of EHR users will then be validated for its applicability to various Canadian contexts through a two-round Delphi study, involving representatives from each end-user groups. Continuous exchanges with decision makers and periodic knowledge transfer activities are planned to facilitate the dissemination and utilization of research results in policies regarding the implementation of EHR in the Canadian healthcare system.
Given the imminence of an interoperable EHR in Canada, knowledge and evidence are urgently needed to prepare this major shift in our healthcare system and to oversee the factors that could affect its adoption and integration by all its potential users. This synthesis will be the first to systematically summarize the barriers and facilitators to EHR adoption perceived by different groups and to consider the local contexts in order to ensure the applicability of this knowledge to the particular realities of various Canadian jurisdictions. This comprehensive and rigorous strategy could be replicated in other settings.
There is a major campaign involving large expenditures of public money to increase the adoption rate of electronic health record (EHR) systems in Canada. To maximize the chances of success in this effort, physician views on EHRs must be addressed, since user perceptions are key to successful implementation of technology innovations.
We propose a theoretical model comprising behavioral factors either favoring or against EHR adoption and use in Canadian medical practices, from the physicians’ point of view. EHR perceptions of physicians already using EHR systems are compared with those not using one, through the lens of this model.
We conducted an online cross-sectional survey in both English and French among medical practitioners across Canada. Data were collected both from physicians using EHRs and those not using EHRs, and analyzed with structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques.
We collected 119 responses from EHR users and 100 from nonusers, resulting in 2 valid samples of 102 and 83 participants, respectively. The theoretical adoption model explained 55.8% of the variance in behavioral intention to continue using EHRs for physicians already using them, and 66.8% of the variance in nonuser intention to adopt such systems. Perception of ease of use was found to be the strongest motivator for EHR users (total effect .525), while perceptions of usefulness and of ease of use were the key determinants for nonusers (total effect .538 and .519, respectively) to adopt the system. Users see perceived overall risk associated with EHR adoption as a major obstacle (total effect –.371), while nonusers perceive risk only as a weak indirect demotivator. Of the 13 paths of the SEM model, 5 showed significant differences between the 2 samples (at the .05 level): general doubts about using the system (P = .02), the necessity for the system to be relevant for their job (P < .001), and the necessity for the system to be useful (P = .049) are more important for EHR nonusers than for users, while perceptions of overall obstacles to adoption (P = .03) and system ease of use (P = .042) count more for EHR users than for nonusers.
Relatively few differences in perceptions about EHR system adoption and use exist between physicians already using such systems and those not yet using the systems. To maximize the chances of success for new EHR implementations from a behavioral point of view, general doubts about the rationale for such systems must be mitigated through improving design, stressing how EHRs are relevant to physician jobs, and providing substantiating evidence that EHRs are easier to use and more effective than nonusers might expect.
Electronic health record; information technology; medical practice; Canada
Despite efforts made by ambulatory care organizations to standardize the use of electronic health records (EHRs), practices often incorporate these systems into their work differently from each other. One potential factor contributing to these differences is within-practice communication patterns. The authors explore the linkage between within-practice communication patterns and practice-level EHR use patterns.
Qualitative study of six practices operating within the same multi-specialty ambulatory care organization using the same EHR system. Semistructured interviews and direct observation were conducted with all physicians, nurses, medical assistants, practice managers, and non-clinical staff from each practice.
An existing model of practice relationships was used to analyze communication patterns within the practices. Practice-level EHR use was defined and analyzed as the ways in which a practice uses an EHR as a collective or a group—including the degree of feature use, level of EHR-enabled communication, and frequency that EHR use changes in a practice. Interview and observation data were analyzed for themes. Based on these themes, within-practice communication patterns were categorized as fragmented or cohesive, and practice-level EHR use patterns were categorized as heterogeneous or homogeneous. Practices where EHR use was uniformly high across all users were further categorized as having standardized EHR use. Communication patterns and EHR use patterns were compared across the six practices.
Within-practice communication patterns were associated with practice-level EHR use patterns. In practices where communication patterns were fragmented, EHR use was heterogeneous. In practices where communication patterns were cohesive, EHR use was homogeneous. Additional analysis revealed that practices that had achieved standardized EHR use (uniformly high EHR use across all users) exhibited high levels of mindfulness and respectful interaction, whereas practices that were furthest from achieving standardized EHR use exhibited low levels of mindfulness and respectful interaction.
Within-practice communication patterns provide a unique perspective for exploring the issue of standardization in EHR use. A major fallacy of setting homogeneous EHR use as the goal for practice-level EHR use is that practices with uniformly low EHR use could be considered successful. Achieving uniformly high EHR use across all users in a practice is more consistent with the goals of current EHR adoption and use efforts. It was found that some communication patterns among practice members may enable more standardized EHR use than others. Understanding the linkage between communication patterns and EHR use can inform understanding of the human element in EHR use and may provide key lessons for the implementation of EHRs and other health information technologies.
Electronic health record use; communication patterns; complex adaptive systems; practice-level EHR use patterns; EHR use standardization; organizational behavior; complexity science
The electronic health record (EHR) is an important application of information and communication technologies to the healthcare sector. EHR implementation is expected to produce benefits for patients, professionals, organisations, and the population as a whole. These benefits cannot be achieved without the adoption of EHR by healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, the influence of individual and organisational factors in determining EHR adoption is still unclear. This study aims to assess the unique contribution of individual and organisational factors on EHR adoption in healthcare settings, as well as possible interrelations between these factors.
A prospective study will be conducted. A stratified random sampling method will be used to select 50 healthcare organisations in the Quebec City Health Region (Canada). At the individual level, a sample of 15 to 30 health professionals will be chosen within each organisation depending on its size. A semi-structured questionnaire will be administered to two key informants in each organisation to collect organisational data. A composite adoption score of EHR adoption will be developed based on a Delphi process and will be used as the outcome variable. Twelve to eighteen months after the first contact, depending on the pace of EHR implementation, key informants and clinicians will be contacted once again to monitor the evolution of EHR adoption. A multilevel regression model will be applied to identify the organisational and individual determinants of EHR adoption in clinical settings. Alternative analytical models would be applied if necessary.
The study will assess the contribution of organisational and individual factors, as well as their interactions, to the implementation of EHR in clinical settings.
These results will be very relevant for decision makers and managers who are facing the challenge of implementing EHR in the healthcare system. In addition, this research constitutes a major contribution to the field of knowledge transfer and implementation science.
Electronic health records (EHRs) might reduce medical liability claims and potentially justify premium credits from liability insurers, but the evidence is limited.
To evaluate the association between EHR use and medical liability claims in a population of office-based physicians, including claims that could potentially be directly prevented by features available in EHRs (“EHR-sensitive” claims).
Retrospective cohort study of medical liability claims and analysis of claim abstracts.
The 26 % of Colorado office-based physicians insured through COPIC Insurance Company who responded to a survey on EHR use (894 respondents out of 3,502 invitees).
Claims incidence rate ratio (IRR); prevalence of “EHR-sensitive” claims.
473 physicians (53 % of respondents) used an office-based EHR. After adjustment for sex, birth cohort, specialty, practice setting and use of an EHR in settings other than an office, IRR for all claims was not significantly different between EHR users and non-users (0.88, 95 % CI 0.52–1.46; p = 0.61), or for users after EHR implementation as compared to before (0.73, 95 % CI 0.41–1.29; p = 0.28). Of 1,569 claim abstracts reviewed, 3 % were judged “Plausibly EHR-sensitive,” 82 % “Unlikely EHR-sensitive,” and 15 % “Unable to determine.” EHR-sensitive claims occurred in six out of 633 non-users and two out of 251 EHR users. Incidence rate ratios were 0.01 for both groups.
Colorado physicians using office-based EHRs did not have significantly different rates of liability claims than non-EHR users; nor were rates different for EHR users before and after EHR implementation. The lack of significant effect may be due to a low prevalence of EHR-sensitive claims. Further research on EHR use and medical liability across a larger population of physicians is warranted.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2283-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
electronic health records; professional liability; office-based practice
Challenges in implementing electronic health records (EHRs) have received some attention, but less is known about the process of transitioning from legacy EHRs to newer systems.
To determine how ambulatory leaders differentiate implementation approaches between practices that are currently paper-based and those with a legacy EHR system (EHR-based).
Eleven practice managers and 12 medical directors all part of an academic ambulatory care network of a large teaching hospital in New York City in January to May of 2006.
Qualitative approach comparing and contrasting perceived benefits and challenges in implementing an ambulatory EHR between practice leaders from paper- and EHR-based practices. Content analysis was performed using grounded theory and ATLAS.ti 5.0.
We found that paper-based leaders prioritized the following: sufficient workstations and printers, a physician information technology (IT) champion at the practice, workflow education to ensure a successful transition to a paperless medical practice, and a high existing comfort level of practitioners and support staff with IT. In contrast, EHR-based leaders prioritized: improved technical training and ongoing technical support, sufficient protection of patient privacy, and open recognition of physician resistance, especially for those who were loyal to a legacy EHR. Unlike paper-based practices, EHR-based leadership believed that comfort level with IT and adjustments to workflow changes would not be difficult challenges to overcome.
Leadership at paper- and EHR-based practices in 1 academic network has different priorities for implementing a new EHR. Ambulatory practices upgrading their legacy EHR have unique challenges.
electronic health records (EHR); implementations; challenges; ambulatory
To examine common themes about implementing and adopting electronic health record (EHR) systems that emerged from 3 separate studies of the experiences of primary health care providers and those who implement EHRs.
Synthesis of the findings of 3 qualitative studies.
Primary health care practices in southwestern Ontario and the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine at The University of Western Ontario in London.
Family physicians, other primary health care providers, and the Deliver Primary Healthcare Information management and operations team.
The findings of 3 separate qualitative studies exploring the implementation of EHRs were synthesized. In the 3 studies, investigators used semistructured interview guides to conduct one-on-one interviews and a focus group, which were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, to collect information about participants’ experiences implementing and adopting EHRs. Transcripts were coded and analyzed by 1 or 2 investigators, and the research team met regularly for synthesis and interpretation of themes.
Four common themes arose from the 3 studies: expectations of EHRs, time and training required to implement and adopt the software, the emergence of an EHR champion or problem solver, and the readiness of health care providers to accept the system.
Those considering implementing and adopting EHRs into a family practice environment should reflect on the following issues: their expectations of the system and what is needed to use the software, the level of commitment to EHR implementation and adoption, the availability of someone willing to take a leadership or champion role, and how much knowledge of computers potential EHR users have.
The development and implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) remains an international challenge. Better understanding of patient and public attitudes and the factors that influence overall levels of support toward EHRs is needed to inform policy.
To explore patient and public attitudes toward integrated EHRs used simultaneously for health care provision, planning and policy, and health research.
Cross-sectional questionnaire survey administered to patients and members of the public who were recruited from a stratified cluster random sample of 8 outpatient clinics of a major teaching hospital and 8 general practices in London (United Kingdom).
5331 patients and members of the public responded to the survey, with 2857 providing complete data for the analysis presented here. There were moderately high levels of support for integrated EHRs used simultaneously for health care provision, planning and policy, and health research (1785/2857, 62.47%), while 27.93% (798/2857) of participants reported being undecided about whether or not they would support EHR use. There were higher levels of support for specific uses of EHRs. Most participants were in favor of EHRs for personal health care provision (2563/2857, 89.71%), with 66.75% (1907/2857) stating that they would prefer their complete, rather than limited, medical history to be included. Of those “undecided” about integrated EHRs, 87.2% (696/798) were nevertheless in favor of sharing their full (373/798, 46.7%) or limited (323/798, 40.5%) records for health provision purposes. There were similar high levels of support for use of EHRs in health services policy and planning (2274/2857, 79.59%) and research (2325/2857, 81.38%), although 59.75% (1707/2857) and 67.10% (1917/2857) of respondents respectively would prefer their personal identifiers to be removed. Multivariable analysis showed levels of overall support for EHRs decreasing with age. Respondents self-identifying as Black British were more likely to report being undecided or unsupportive of national EHRs. Frequent health services users were more likely to report being supportive than undecided.
Despite previous difficulties with National Health Service (NHS) technology projects, patients and the public generally support the development of integrated EHRs for health care provision, planning and policy, and health research. This support, however, varies between social groups and is not unqualified; relevant safeguards must be in place and patients should be guided in their decision-making process, including increased awareness about the benefits of EHRs for secondary uses.
electronic health records; patient attitudes; health care delivery; research; policy
Electronic health records (EHR) hold great promise for managing patient information in ways that improve healthcare delivery. Physicians differ, however, in their use of this health information technology (IT), and these differences are not well understood. The authors study the differences in individual physicians' EHR use patterns and identify perceptions of uncertainty as an important new variable in understanding EHR use.
Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and direct observation of physicians (n=28) working in a multispecialty outpatient care organization.
We identified physicians' perceptions of uncertainty as an important variable in understanding differences in EHR use patterns. Drawing on theories from the medical and organizational literatures, we identified three categories of perceptions of uncertainty: reduction, absorption, and hybrid. We used an existing model of EHR use to categorize physician EHR use patterns as high, medium, and low based on degree of feature use, level of EHR-enabled communication, and frequency that EHR use patterns change.
Physicians' perceptions of uncertainty were distinctly associated with their EHR use patterns. Uncertainty reductionists tended to exhibit high levels of EHR use, uncertainty absorbers tended to exhibit low levels of EHR use, and physicians demonstrating both perspectives of uncertainty (hybrids) tended to exhibit medium levels of EHR use.
We find evidence linking physicians' perceptions of uncertainty with EHR use patterns. Study findings have implications for health IT research, practice, and policy, particularly in terms of impacting health IT design and implementation efforts in ways that consider differences in physicians' perceptions of uncertainty.
electronic health record use; physician perceptions of uncertainty; complexity science; uncertainty management; ambulatory care
This study aims to determine the level and extent of usage of electronic health records (EHRs) in government-related hospitals in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Another aim is to develop a Web site to serve as a forum of exchange on the development of EHRs in Saudi Arabia. All government hospitals (n = 19) in the province were included. The information technology (IT) managers in those hospitals made up the target population. An online questionnaire was developed, and the IT managers in all 19 government hospitals were invited to participate in the survey. The responses from the online survey were downloaded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Of the 19 hospitals, only three (15.8 percent) use EHRs. These hospitals were established in 1984, 1995, and 2005. All three of these hospitals have implemented the same EHR software and were using it successfully, and all three were using the three core features of laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy electronic modules. Some modules were present in the EHR system but were underutilized. Some of the main challenges faced by the IT managers in implementing EHRs in their hospitals were related to the uncooperative attitudes of some physicians and nurses toward EHRs.
In fulfillment of the second aim of the study, a Web site, http://ehr2011.weebly.com, was developed to serve as a forum for exchange of information on the development of EHRs in Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia has prioritized the development of eHealth (health information technology) and allocated committed funding for it during 2008–2011. During this period, some sectors of government made highly commendable efforts in developing eHealth services. Along these lines, we had hoped to see higher uptake of EHRs than the 15.8 percent found in this study. The rate of implementing EHRs in government hospitals should be accelerated. The aim should be on achieving some basic EHR functionality in these hospitals, and once this has been achieved, additional functionality can be pursued in stages.
electronic health record; Saudi Arabia
Providing patients with access to their electronic health records offers great promise to improve patient health and satisfaction with their care, as well to improve professional and organizational approaches to health care. Although many benefits have been identified, there are many questions about best practices for the implementation of patient accessible Electronic Health Records (EHRs).
To develop recommendations to assist health care organizations in providing patients with access to EHRs in a meaningful, responsible, and responsive manner.
A Patient Accessible Electronic Health Record (PAEHR) Workshop was held with nationally and internationally renowned experts to explore issues related to providing patient access to the EHR and managing institutional change.
The PAEHR Workshop was attended by 45 participants who discussed recommendations for the implementation of patient accessible EHRs. Recommendations were discussed under four subject domains: (1) providing patient access to the EHR, (2) maintaining privacy and confidentiality related to the PAEHR, (3) patient education and navigation of the PAEHR, and (4) strategies for managing institutional change. The discussion focused on the need for national infrastructure, clear definitions for privacy, security and confidentiality, flexible, interoperable solutions, and patient and professional education. In addition, there was a strong call for research into all domains of patient accessible EHRs to ensure the adoption of evidence-based practices.
Patient access to personal health information is a fundamental issue for patient engagement and empowerment. Health care professionals and organizations should consider the potential benefits and risks of patient access when developing EHR strategies. Flexible, standardized, and interoperable solutions must be integrated with outcomes-based research to activate effectively patients as partners in their health care.
Electronic Health Record (EHR); Personal Health Record (PHR); medical records; recommendations; health planning guidelines; access; access to information
Exchange of Electronic Health Record (EHR) data between systems from different suppliers is a major challenge. EHR communication based on archetype methodology has been developed by openEHR and CEN/ISO. The experience of using archetypes in deployed EHR systems is quite limited today. Currently deployed EHR systems with large user bases have their own proprietary way of representing clinical content using various models. This study was designed to investigate the feasibility of representing EHR content models from a regional EHR system as openEHR archetypes and inversely to convert archetypes to the proprietary format.
The openEHR EHR Reference Model (RM) and Archetype Model (AM) specifications were used. The template model of the Cambio COSMIC, a regional EHR product from Sweden, was analyzed and compared to the openEHR RM and AM. This study was focused on the convertibility of the EHR semantic models. A semantic mapping between the openEHR RM/AM and the COSMIC template model was produced and used as the basis for developing prototype software that performs automated bi-directional conversion between openEHR archetypes and COSMIC templates.
Automated bi-directional conversion between openEHR archetype format and COSMIC template format has been achieved. Several archetypes from the openEHR Clinical Knowledge Repository have been imported into COSMIC, preserving most of the structural and terminology related constraints. COSMIC templates from a large regional installation were successfully converted into the openEHR archetype format. The conversion from the COSMIC templates into archetype format preserves nearly all structural and semantic definitions of the original content models. A strategy of gradually adding archetype support to legacy EHR systems was formulated in order to allow sharing of clinical content models defined using different formats.
The openEHR RM and AM are expressive enough to represent the existing clinical content models from the template based EHR system tested and legacy content models can automatically be converted to archetype format for sharing of knowledge. With some limitations, internationally available archetypes could be converted to the legacy EHR models. Archetype support can be added to legacy EHR systems in an incremental way allowing a migration path to interoperability based on standards.
Experience has shown that for new health-information-technology (HIT) to be suc-cessful clinicians must obtain positive clinical benefits as a result of its implementation and joint-ownership of the decisions made during the development process. A prerequisite for achieving both success criteria is real end-user-participation. Experience has also shown that further research into developing improved methods to collect more detailed information on social groups participating in HIT development is needed in order to support, facilitate and improve real end-user participation.
A case study of an EHR planning-process in a Danish county from October 2003 until April 2006 was conducted using process-analysis. Three social groups (physicians, IT-professionals and administrators) were identified and studied in the local, present perspective. In order to understand the interactions between the three groups, the national, historic perspective was included through a literature-study. Data were collected through observations, interviews, insight gathered from documents and relevant literature.
In the local, present perspective, the administrator's strategy for the EHR planning process meant that there was no clinical workload-reduction. This was seen as one of the main barriers to the physicians to achieving real influence. In the national, historic perspective, physicians and administrators have had/have different perceptions of the purpose of the patient record and they have both struggled to influence this definition. To date, the administrators have won the battle. This explains the conditions made available for the physicians' participation in this case, which led to their role being reduced to that of clinical consultants - rather than real participants.
In HIT-development the interests of and the balance of power between the different social groups involved are decisive in determining whether or not the end-users become real participants in the development process. Real end-user-participation is essential for the successful outcome of the process. By combining and developing existing theories and methods, this paper presents an improved method to collect more detailed information on social groups participating in HIT-development and their interaction during the development. This allows HIT management to explore new avenues during the HIT development process in order to support, facilitate and improve real end-user participation.
To reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, effective discharge planning and appropriate post discharge support care are key requirements. This study is a 3-staged process to develop, pretest and pilot a framework for an effective discharge planning system in Hong Kong. This paper reports on the methodology of Delphi approach and findings of the second stage on pre-testing the framework developed so as to validate and attest to its applicability and practicability in which consensus was sought on the key components of discharge planning.
Delphi methodology was adopted to engage a group of experienced healthcare professionals to rate and discuss the framework and components of an effective discharge planning. The framework was consisted
36 statements under 5 major themes: initial screening, discharge planning process, coordination of discharge, implementation of discharge, and post discharge follow-up. Each statement was rated independently based on
3 aspects including clarity, validity and applicability on a 5-point Likert-scale. Statement with 75% or above of participants scoring 4–5 on all 3 aspects would be included in the discharge planning framework. For those statements not reaching 75% of consensus in any one of the aspect, it would be revised or discarded following the group discussion, and be re-rated in another round.
A total of 24 participants participated in the consensus-building process. In round one rating, consensus was achieved in 25 out of 36 statements. Among those 11 statements not reaching consensus, the major concern was related to the “applicability” of the statements. The participants expressed a lack of manpower, skills and time in particular during weekends and long holidays in carrying out assessment and care plans within 24 h after admission. There were also timeliness and availability issue in providing transportation and necessary equipment to the patients. To make the statements more applicable, the wordings of some of the statements were revised to provide greater flexibility. Due to the lack of a statement in clarifying the role of the members of the healthcare professional team, one additional statement on the role and responsibility of the multidisciplinary team members was added. The first theme on “initial screening” was further revised to “initial screening and assessment” to better reflect the first stage of discharge planning process. After two rounds of rating process, all the 36 statements and the newly added statement reached consensus
A structured, systematic and coordinated system of hospital discharge system is required to facilitate the discharge process to ensure a smooth patient transition from the hospital to the community and improve patient health outcome in both clinical and social aspect. The findings of this paper provide a reference framework helping policymakers and hospital managers to facilitate the development of a coherent and systematized discharge planning process. Adopting a Delphi approach also demonstrates the values of the method as a pre-test (before the clinical run) of the components and requirements of a discharge planning system taking into account of the local context and system constraints, which would lead to improvements to its applicability and practicability. To confirm the applicability and practicability of this consensus framework for discharge planning system, the third stage of process of development of the discharge planning framework is to apply and pilot the framework in a hospital setting to evaluate its feasibility, applicability and impact in hospital including satisfaction from both the perspectives of staff and patients.
Evidence suggests that many small- and medium-scale Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementations encounter problems, these often stemming from users' difficulties in accommodating the new technology into their work practices. There is the possibility that these challenges may be exacerbated in the context of the larger-scale, more standardised, implementation strategies now being pursued as part of major national modernisation initiatives. We sought to understand how England's centrally procured and delivered EHR software was integrated within the work practices of users in selected secondary and specialist care settings.
We conducted a qualitative longitudinal case study-based investigation drawing on sociotechnical theory in three purposefully selected sites implementing early functionality of a nationally procured EHR system. The complete dataset comprised semi-structured interview data from a total of 66 different participants, 38.5 hours of non-participant observation of use of the software in context, accompanying researcher field notes, and hospital documents (including project initiation and lessons learnt reports). Transcribed data were analysed thematically using a combination of deductive and inductive approaches, and drawing on NVivo8 software to facilitate coding.
The nationally led "top-down" implementation and the associated focus on interoperability limited the opportunity to customise software to local needs. Lack of system usability led users to employ a range of workarounds unanticipated by management to compensate for the perceived shortcomings of the system. These had a number of knock-on effects relating to the nature of collaborative work, patterns of communication, the timeliness and availability of records (including paper) and the ability for hospital management to monitor organisational performance.
This work has highlighted the importance of addressing potentially adverse unintended consequences of workarounds associated with the introduction of EHRs. This can be achieved with customisation, which is inevitably somewhat restricted in the context of attempts to implement national solutions. The tensions and potential trade-offs between achieving large-scale interoperability and local requirements is likely to be the subject of continuous debate in England and beyond with no easy answers in sight.
Provide evidence-based advise to “Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly” (PACE) decision makers considering implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system, drawing on the results of a mixed methods study to examine: (1) the diffusion of an EHR among clinicians documenting direct patient care in a PACE day care site, (2) the impact of the use of the EHR on the satisfaction levels of clinicians, and (3) the impact of the use of the EHR on patient functional outcomes.
Embedded mixed methods design with a post-test design quantitative experiment and concurrent qualitative component. Quantitative methods included: (1) the EHR audit log used to determine the frequency and timing during the week of clinicians’ usage of the system; (2) a 22-item clinician satisfaction survey; and (3) a 16-item patient functional outcome questionnaire related to locomotion, mobility, personal hygiene, dressing, feeding as well the use of adaptive devices. Qualitative methods included observations and open-ended, semi-structured follow-up interviews. Qualitative data was merged with the quantitative data by comparing the findings along themes. The setting was a PACE utilizing an EHR in Philadelphia: PACE manages the care of nursing-home eligible members to enable them to avoid nursing home admission and reside in their homes. Participants were 39 clinicians on the multi-disciplinary teams caring for the elders and 338 PACE members.
Clinicians did not use the system as intended, which may help to explain why the benefits related to clinical processes and patient outcomes as expected for an EHR were not reflected in the results. Clinicians were satisfied with the EHR, although there was a non-significant decline between 11 and 17 months post implementation of the EHR. There was no significant difference in patient functional outcome the two time periods. However, the sample size of 48 was too small to allow any conclusive statements to be made. Interpretation of findings underscores the importance of the interaction of workflow and EHR functionality and usability to impact clinician satisfaction, efficiency, and clinician use of the EHR.
This research provides insights into EHR use in the care of the older people in community-based health care settings. This study assessed the adoption of an EHR outside the acute hospital setting and in the community setting to provide evidence-based recommendations to PACE decision makers considering implementing an EHR.
Evaluation studies; technology evaluation; clinical information systems; patient care team; aged
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has invested significant resources in designing and implementing a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) that supports clinical priorities. EHRs in general have been difficult to implement, with unclear cost-effectiveness. We describe VA clinical personnel interactions with and evaluations of the EHR.
As part of an evaluation of a quality improvement initiative, we interviewed 72 VA clinicians and managers using a semi-structured interview format. We conducted a qualitative analysis of interview transcripts, examining themes relating to participants' interactions with and evaluations of the VA EHR.
Participants described their perceptions of the positive and negative effects of the EHR on their clinical workflow. Although they appreciated the speed and ease of documentation that the EHR afforded, they were concerned about the time cost of using the technology and the technology's potential for detracting from interpersonal interactions.
VA personnel value EHRs' contributions to supporting communication, education, and documentation. However, participants are concerned about EHRs' potential interference with other important aspects of healthcare, such as time for clinical care and interpersonal communication with patients and colleagues. We propose that initial implementation of an EHR is one step in an iterative process of ongoing quality improvement.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are structured, distributed documentation systems that differ from paper charts. These systems require skills not traditionally used to navigate a paper chart and to produce a written clinic note. Despite these differences, little attention has been given to physicians’ electronic health record (EHR)-writing and -reading competence.
This study aims to investigate physicians’ self-assessed competence to document and to read EHR notes; writing and reading preferences in an EHR; and demographic characteristics associated with their perceived EHR ability and preference.
Fourteen 5-point Likert scale items, based on EHR system characteristics and a literature review, were developed to measure EHR-writing and -reading competence and preference. Physicians in the midwest region of the United States were invited via e-mail to complete the survey online from February to April 2011. Factor analysis and reliability testing were conducted to provide validity and reliability of the instrument. Correlation and regression analysis were conducted to pursue answers to the research questions.
Ninety-one physicians (12.5%), from general and specialty fields, working in inpatient and outpatient settings, participated in the survey. Despite over 3 years of EHR experience, respondents perceived themselves to be incompetent in EHR writing and reading (Mean = 2.74, SD = 0.76). They preferred to read succinct, narrative notes in EHR systems. However, physicians with higher perceived EHR-writing and -reading competence had less preference toward reading succinct (r= − 0.33, p<0.001) and narrative (r= − 0.36, p<0.001) EHR notes than physicians with lower perceived EHR competence. Physicians’ perceived EHR-writing and - reading competence was strongly related to their EHR navigation skills (r=0.55, p<0.0001).
Writing and reading EHR documentation is different for physicians. Maximizing navigation skills can optimize non-linear EHR writing and reading. Pedagogical questions remain related to how physicians and medical students are able to retrieve correct information effectively and to understand thought patterns in collectively lengthier and sometimes fragmented EHR chart notes.
electronic health record (EHR); electronic medical record (EMR); reading; documentation; navigation
Less than 20% of hospitals in the US have an electronic health record (EHR). In this qualitative study, we examine the perspectives of both academic and private physicians and administrators as stakeholders, and their alignment, to explore their perspectives on the use of technology in the clinical environment.
Focus groups were conducted with 74 participants who were asked a series of open-ended questions. Grounded theory was used to analyze the transcribed data and build convergent themes. The relevance and importance of themes was constructed by examining frequency, convergence, and intensity. A model was proposed that represents the interactions between themes.
Six major themes emerged, which include the impact of EHR systems on workflow, patient care, communication, research/outcomes/billing, education/learning, and institutional culture. Academic and private physicians were confident of the future benefits of EHR systems, yet cautious about the current implementations of EHR, and its impact on interactions with other members of the healthcare team and with patients, and the amount of time necessary to use EHR’s. Private physicians differed on education and were uneasy about the steep learning curve necessary for use of new systems. In contrast to physicians, university and hospital administrators are optimistic, and value the availability of data for use in reporting.
The results of our study indicate that both private and academic physicians concur on the need for features that maintain and enhance the relationship with the patient and the healthcare team. Resistance to adoption is related to insufficient functionality and its potential negative impact on patient care. Integration of data collection into clinical workflows must consider the unexpected costs of data acquisition.
Adoption; health information technology; workflow
Access to personal health information through the electronic health record (EHR) is an innovative means to enable people to be active participants in their own health care. Currently this is not an available option for consumers of health. The absence of a key technology, the EHR, is a significant obstacle to providing patient accessible electronic records. To assess the readiness for the implementation and adoption of EHRs in Canada, a national scan was conducted to determine organizational readiness and willingness for patient accessible electronic records.
A survey was conducted of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Canadian public and acute care hospitals.
Two hundred thirteen emails were sent to CEOs of Canadian general and acute care hospitals, with a 39% response rate. Over half (54.2%) of hospitals had some sort of EHR, but few had a record that was predominately electronic. Financial resources were identified as the most important barrier to providing patients access to their EHR and there was a divergence in perceptions from healthcare providers and what they thought patients would want in terms of access to the EHR, with providers being less willing to provide access and patients desire for greater access to the full record.
As the use of EHRs becomes more commonplace, organizations should explore the possibility of responding to patient needs for clinical information by providing access to their EHR. The best way to achieve this is still being debated.
The objective is to introduce 'clinical archetype' which is a formal and agreed way of representing clinical information to ensure interoperability across and within Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The paper also aims at presenting the challenges building quality labeled clinical archetypes and the challenges towards achieving semantic interoperability between EHRs.
Twenty years of international research, various European healthcare informatics projects and the pioneering work of the openEHR Foundation have led to the following results.
The requirements for EHR information architectures have been consolidated within ISO 18308 and adopted within the ISO 13606 EHR interoperability standard. However, a generic EHR architecture cannot ensure that the clinical meaning of information from heterogeneous sources can be reliably interpreted by receiving systems and services. Therefore, clinical models called 'clinical archetypes' are required to formalize the representation of clinical information within the EHR. Part 2 of ISO 13606 defines how archetypes should be formally represented. The current challenge is to grow clinical communities to build a library of clinical archetypes and to identify how evidence of best practice and multi-professional clinical consensus should best be combined to define archetypes at the optimal level of granularity and specificity and quality label them for wide adoption. Standardizing clinical terms within EHRs using clinical terminology like Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms is also a challenge.
Clinical archetypes would play an important role in achieving semantic interoperability within EHRs. Attempts are being made in exploring the design and adoption challenges for clinical archetypes.
Electronic Health Records; Semantics; Health Information Management
EHR/CPOE systems improve completeness of medical record and chemotherapy order documentation, as well as user satisfaction with the medical record system.
Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in electronic health records (EHR) has been recognized as an important tool in optimal health care provision that can reduce errors and improve safety. The objective of this study is to describe documentation completeness and user satisfaction of medical charts before and after implementation of an outpatient oncology EHR/ CPOE system in a hospital-based outpatient cancer center within three treatment sites.
This study is a retrospective chart review of 90 patients who received one of the following regimens between 1999 and 2006: FOLFOX, AC, carboplatin + paclitaxel, ABVD, cisplatin + etoposide, R-CHOP, and clinical trials. Documentation completeness scores were assigned to each chart based on the number of documented data points found out of the total data points assessed. EHR/CPOE documentation completeness was compared with completeness of paper charts orders of the same regimens. A user satisfaction survey of the paper chart and EHR/CPOE system was conducted among the physicians, nurses, and pharmacists who worked with both systems.
The mean percentage of identified data points successfully found in the EHR/CPOE charts was 93% versus 67% in the paper charts (P < .001). Regimen complexity did not alter the number of data points found. The survey response rate was 64%, and the results showed that satisfaction was statistically significant in favor of the EHR/CPOE system.
Using EHR/CPOE systems improves completeness of medical record and chemotherapy order documentation and improves user satisfaction with the medical record system. EHR/CPOE requires constant vigilance and maintenance to optimize patient safety.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents a serious and growing health problem in Canada. Colonoscopy is used for screening and diagnosis of symptomatic or high CRC risk individuals. Although a number of countries are now implementing quality colonoscopy services, knowledge synthesis of barriers and facilitators perceived by healthcare professionals and patients during implementation has not been carried out. In addition, the perspectives of various stakeholders towards the implementation of quality colonoscopy services and the need of an efficient organisation of such services have been reported in the literature but have not been synthesised yet. The present study aims to produce a comprehensive synthesis of actual knowledge on the barriers and facilitators perceived by all stakeholders to the implementation of quality colonoscopy services in Canada.
First, we will conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific literature and other published documentation on the barriers and facilitators to implementing quality colonoscopy services. Standardised literature searches and data extraction methods will be used. The quality of the studies and their relevance to informing decisions on colonoscopy services implementation will be assessed. For each group of users identified, barriers and facilitators will be categorised and compiled using narrative synthesis and meta-analytical techniques. The principle factors identified for each group of users will then be validated for its applicability to various Canadian contexts using the Delphi study method. Following this study, a set of strategies will be identified to inform decision makers involved in the implementation of quality colonoscopy services across Canadian jurisdictions.
This study will be the first to systematically summarise the barriers and facilitators to implementation of quality colonoscopy services perceived by different groups and to consider the local contexts in order to ensure the applicability of this knowledge to the particular realities of various Canadian jurisdictions. Linkages with strategic partners and decision makers in the realisation of this project will favour the utilisation of its results to support strategies for implementing quality colonoscopy services and CRC screening programs in the Canadian health system.
The role of usability testing in the evaluation of an electronic health record system could improve chances that the design is integrated with existing workflow and business processes in a clear, efficient way.
An oncology electronic health record (EHR) was implemented without prior usability testing. Before expanding the system to new clinics, this study was initiated to examine the role of usability testing in the evaluation of an EHR product and whether novice users could identify issues with usability that resonated with more experienced users of the system. In addition, our study evaluated whether usability issues with an already implemented system affect efficiency and satisfaction of users.
A general usability guide was developed by a group of five informaticists. Using this guide, four novice users evaluated an EHR product and identified issues. A panel of five experts reviewed the identified issues to determine agreement with and applicability to the already implemented system. A survey of 42 experienced users of the previously implemented EHR was also performed to assess efficiency and general satisfaction.
The novice users identified 110 usability issues. Our expert panel agreed with 90% of the issues and recommendations for correction identified by the novice users. Our survey had a 54% response rate. The majority of the experienced users of the previously implemented system, which did not benefit from upfront usability testing, had a high degree of dissatisfaction with efficiency and general functionality but higher overall satisfaction than expected.
In addition to reviewing features and content of an EHR system, usability testing could improve the chances that the EHR design is integrated with existing workflow and business processes in a clear and efficient way.