Experts speak: advice from key informants to small, rural hospitals on implementing the electronic health record system

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2013:192:608-12.


The US government has allocated $30 billion dollars to implement Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in hospitals and provider practices through a policy called Meaningful Use. Small, rural hospitals, particularly those designated as Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), comprising nearly a quarter of US hospitals, had not implemented EHRs before. Little is known on implementation in this setting. We interviewed a spectrum of 31 experts in the domain. The interviews were then analyzed qualitatively to ascertain the expert recommendations. Nineteen themes emerged. The pool of experts included staff from CAHs that had recently implemented EHRs. We were able to compare their answers with those of other experts and make recommendations for stakeholders. CAH peer experts focused less on issues such as physician buy-in, communication, and the EHR team. None of them indicated concern or focus on clinical decision support systems, leadership, or governance. They were especially concerned with system selection, technology, preparatory work and a need to know more about workflow and optimization. These differences were explained by the size and nature of these small hospitals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / organization & administration*
  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Expert Testimony*
  • Health Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Hospital Administration / methods*
  • Hospitals, Rural / organization & administration*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Organizational Objectives*
  • Planning Techniques
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration
  • United States