Adoption of electronic medical records in family practice: the providers' perspective

Fam Med. Jul-Aug 2009;41(7):508-12.


Background and objectives: The study's objectives were to explore Deliver Primary Healthcare Information (DELPHI) project participants' experiences, ideas, and perspectives regarding the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) into their primary health care practices and to examine perceived barriers and facilitators to EMR adoption.

Methods: This study explored the experiences of the 30 participants in the project. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. The analysis was both iterative and interpretive.

Results: Two key themes emerged: (1) barriers (ie, level of computer literacy, training required, and time) and facilitators (ie, having an in-house problem solver and the EMR's integrated messaging system), and (2) a continuum of EMR adoption (ie, levels of knowledge ranging from novice to advanced and responses to the EMR that included participants' reflections on their personal journey across the adoption continuum and that of their practice sites).

Conclusions: It is important to be aware of and responsive to factors that can influence EMR implementation and adoption. They include paying attention to computer literacy; setting aside dedicated time for EMR implementation and adoption, as well as engaging in training activities; and supporting problem-solvers in the practice. Mechanisms should be put into place to promote the movement of practices across the continuum of EMR adoption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Physicians, Family
  • Practice Management, Medical / organization & administration
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Program Evaluation