Electronic medical records: are physicians ready?

J Healthc Manag. 1999 Nov-Dec;44(6):440-54; discussion 454-5.


The use of electronic medical records (EMR) in healthcare organizations will require substantial changes in the way physicians and their staff provide patient care. This study is the first part of a larger study assessing factors that influence successful implementation of EMR in ambulatory care settings. The purposes of this study were to identify specific attitudes or factors that should be targeted before implementating an EMR project, and demonstrate empirical support for a model of perceived usefulness of EMR. We found that computer experience, computer anxiety, and perceptions of organizational support predict the degree to which physicians and mid-level practitioners view the EMR effort positively. Strategies for the successful management of EMR implementation include engaging the physicians and practitioners in computer activities prior to implementation and providing strong organizational support before and during the redesign effort. Acceptance of EMR by physicians and their support staff is essential if computerization is to be successful, yet anecdotal reports of resistance and negative attitudes are frequently reported. Empirical studies indicate that physicians have not yet embraced this technology. As part of strategic planning and deployment of a computerized patient record, attitudes of end-users must be assessed. Using an integrative framework from the job design literature and management information sciences, we propose that multiple factors influence attitudes toward EMR, offer a conceptual model of end-user acceptance, and present findings from an empirical test of our model.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Ambulatory Care Information Systems
  • Anxiety
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Data Collection
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Management, Medical*
  • United States