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1.  Users’ perspectives of key factors to implementing electronic health records in Canada: a Delphi study 
Interoperable electronic health record (EHR) solutions are currently being implemented in Canada, as in many other countries. Understanding EHR users’ perspectives is key to the success of EHR implementation projects. This Delphi study aimed to assess in the Canadian context the applicability, the importance, and the priority of pre-identified factors from a previous mixed-methods systematic review of international literature.
A three-round Delphi study was held with representatives of 4 Canadian EHR user groups defined as partners of the implementation process who use or are expected to use EHR in their everyday activity. These groups are: non-physician healthcare professionals, health information professionals, managers, and physicians. Four bilingual online questionnaire versions were developed from factors identified by the systematic review. Participants were asked to rate the applicability and the importance of each factor. The main outcome measures were consensus and priority. Consensus was defined a priori as strong (≥ 75%) or moderate (≥ 60-74%) according to user groups’ level of agreement on applicability and importance, partial (≥ 60%) when participants agreed only on applicability or importance, or as no consensus (< 60%). Priority for decision-making was defined as factors with strong consensus with scores of 4 or 5 on a five-point Likert scale for applicability and importance.
Three Delphi rounds were completed by 64 participants. Levels of consensus of 100%, 64%, 64%, and 44% were attained on factors submitted to non-physician healthcare professionals, health information professionals, managers, and physicians, respectively. While agreement between and within user groups varied, key factors were prioritized if they were classified as strong (≥ 75% from questionnaire answers of user groups), for decision-making concerning EHR implementation. The10 factors that were prioritized are perceived usefulness, productivity, motivation, participation of end-users in the implementation strategy, patient and health professional interaction, lack of time and workload, resources availability, management, outcome expectancy, and interoperability.
Amongst all factors influencing EHR implementation identified in a previous systematic review, ten were prioritized through this Delphi study. The varying levels of agreement between and within user groups could mean that users’ perspectives of each factor are complex and that each user group has unique professional priorities and roles in the EHR implementation process. As more EHR implementations in Canada are completed it will be possible to corroborate this preliminary result with a larger population of EHR users.
PMCID: PMC3470948  PMID: 22967231
Delphi technique; Adoption factors; Implementation factors; Electronic health record; Health information technology; Health communication technology; Medical informatics
2.  Barriers and facilitators to implementing Decision Boxes in primary healthcare teams to facilitate shared decisionmaking: a study protocol 
Decision Boxes are summaries of the most important benefits and harms of health interventions provided to clinicians before they meet the patient, to prepare them to help patients make informed and value-based decisions. Our objective is to explore the barriers and facilitators to using Decision Boxes in clinical practice, more precisely factors stemming from (1) the Decision Boxes themselves, (2) the primary healthcare team (PHT), and (3) the primary care practice environment.
A two-phase mixed methods study will be conducted. Eight Decision Boxes relevant to primary care, and written in both English and in French, will be hosted on a website together with a tutorial to introduce the Decision Box. The Decision Boxes will be delivered as weekly emails over a span of eight weeks to clinicians of PHTs (family physicians, residents and nurses) in five primary care clinics located across two Canadian provinces. Using a web-questionnaire, clinicians will rate each Decision Box with the Information Assessment Method (cognitive impacts, relevance, usefulness, expected benefits) and with a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior to study the determinants of clinicians’ intention to use what they learned from that Decision Box in their patient encounter (attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control). Web-log data will be used to monitor clinicians’ access to the website. Following the 8-week intervention, we will conduct semi-structured group interviews with clinicians and individual interviews with clinic administrators to explore contextual factors influencing the use of the Decision Boxes. Data collected from questionnaires, focus groups and individual interviews will be combined to identify factors potentially influencing implementation of Decision Boxes in clinical practice by clinicians of PHTs.
This project will allow tailoring of Decision Boxes and their delivery to overcome the specific barriers identified by clinicians of PHTs to improve the implementation of shared decision making in this setting.
PMCID: PMC3472191  PMID: 22867107
(3–10); Evidence-based practice; Continuing professional education; Risk communication; Patient-centered care; Counselling; Clinical topic summary; Decision support; Knowledge translation; Implementation science
3.  An integrated strategy of knowledge application for optimal e-health implementation: A multi-method study protocol 
E-health is increasingly valued for supporting: 1) access to quality health care services for all citizens; 2) information flow and exchange; 3) integrated health care services and 4) interprofessional collaboration. Nevertheless, several questions remain on the factors allowing an optimal integration of e-health in health care policies, organisations and practices. An evidence-based integrated strategy would maximise the efficacy and efficiency of e-health implementation. However, decisions regarding e-health applications are usually not evidence-based, which can lead to a sub-optimal use of these technologies. This study aims at understanding factors influencing the application of scientific knowledge for an optimal implementation of e-health in the health care system.
A three-year multi-method study is being conducted in the Province of Quebec (Canada). Decision-making at each decisional level (political, organisational and clinical) are analysed based on specific approaches. At the political level, critical incidents analysis is being used. This method will identify how decisions regarding the implementation of e-health could be influenced or not by scientific knowledge. Then, interviews with key-decision-makers will look at how knowledge was actually used to support their decisions, and what factors influenced its use. At the organisational level, e-health projects are being analysed as case studies in order to explore the use of scientific knowledge to support decision-making during the implementation of the technology. Interviews with promoters, managers and clinicians will be carried out in order to identify factors influencing the production and application of scientific knowledge. At the clinical level, questionnaires are being distributed to clinicians involved in e-health projects in order to analyse factors influencing knowledge application in their decision-making. Finally, a triangulation of the results will be done using mixed methodologies to allow a transversal analysis of the results at each of the decisional levels.
This study will identify factors influencing the use of scientific evidence and other types of knowledge by decision-makers involved in planning, financing, implementing and evaluating e-health projects.
These results will be highly relevant to inform decision-makers who wish to optimise the implementation of e-health in the Quebec health care system. This study is extremely relevant given the context of major transformations in the health care system where e-health becomes a must.
PMCID: PMC2390530  PMID: 18435853
4.  Instruments to assess the perception of physicians in the decision-making process of specific clinical encounters: a systematic review 
The measurement of processes and outcomes that reflect the complexity of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters is an important area of research to pursue. A systematic review was conducted to identify instruments that assess the perception physicians have of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters.
For every year available up until April 2007, PubMed, PsycINFO, Current Contents, Dissertation Abstracts and Sociological Abstracts were searched for original studies in English or French. Reference lists from retrieved studies were also consulted. Studies were included if they reported a self-administered instrument evaluating physicians' perceptions of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters, contained sufficient description to permit critical appraisal and presented quantitative results based on administering the instrument. Two individuals independently assessed the eligibility of the instruments and abstracted information on their conceptual underpinnings, main evaluation domain, development, format, reliability, validity and responsiveness. They also assessed the quality of the studies that reported on the development of the instruments with a modified version of STARD.
Out of 3431 records identified and screened for evaluation, 26 potentially relevant instruments were assessed; 11 met the inclusion criteria. Five instruments were published before 1995. Among those published after 1995, five offered a corresponding patient version. Overall, the main evaluation domains were: satisfaction with the clinical encounter (n = 2), mutual understanding between health professional and patient (n = 2), mental workload (n = 1), frustration with the clinical encounter (n = 1), nurse-physician collaboration (n = 1), perceptions of communication competence (n = 2), degree of comfort with a decision (n = 1) and information on medication (n = 1). For most instruments (n = 10), some reliability and validity criteria were reported in French or English. Overall, the mean number of items on the modified version of STARD was 12.4 (range: 2 to 18).
This systematic review provides a critical appraisal and repository of instruments that assess the perception physicians have of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters. More research is needed to pursue the validation of the existing instruments and the development of patient versions. This will help researchers capture the complexity of the decision-making process within specific clinical encounters.
PMCID: PMC2151936  PMID: 17937801

Results 1-4 (4)