Purpose: To identify and describe physicians' beliefs about use of electronic medical records (EMR) and computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for inpatient and outpatient care, to build an understanding of what factors shape information technology (IT) use behavior in the unique context of health care delivery.
Methods: Semi-structured qualitative research interviews were carried out, following the beliefs elicitation approach. Twenty physicians from two large Midwest US hospitals participated. Physicians were asked questions to elicit beliefs and experiences pertaining to their use of EMR and CPOE. Questions were based on a broad set of behavior-shaping beliefs and the methods commonly used to elicit those beliefs.
Results: Qualitative analysis revealed numerous themes related to the perceived emotional and instrumental outcomes of EMR and CPOE use; perceived external and personal normative pressure to use those systems; perceived volitional control over use behavior; perceived facilitators and barriers to system use; and perceptions about the systems and how they were implemented. EMR and CPOE were commonly believed to both improve and worsen the ease and quality of personal performance, productivity and efficiency, and patient outcomes. Physicians felt encouraged by employers and others to use the systems but also had personal role-related and moral concerns about doing so. Perceived facilitators and barriers were numerous and had their sources in all aspects of the work system.
Conclusion: Given the breadth and detail of elicited beliefs, numerous design and policy implications can be identified. Additionally, the findings are a first step toward developing a theory of health IT acceptance and use contextualized to the unique setting of health care.
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