Electronic health records implementation: an evaluation of information system impact and contingency factors

Int J Med Inform. 2014 Nov;83(11):779-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2014.06.011. Epub 2014 Jul 22.


Objective: This paper provides a review of EHR (electronic health record) implementations around the world and reports on findings including benefits and issues associated with EHR implementation.

Materials and methods: A systematic literature review was conducted from peer-reviewed scholarly journal publications from the last 10 years (2001-2011). The search was conducted using various publication collections including: Scopus, Embase, Informit, Medline, Proquest Health and Medical Complete. This paper reports on our analysis of previous empirical studies of EHR implementations. We analysed data based on an extension of DeLone and McLean's information system (IS) evaluation framework. The extended framework integrates DeLone and McLean's dimensions, including information quality, system quality, service quality, intention of use and usage, user satisfaction and net benefits, together with contingent dimensions, including systems development, implementation attributes and organisational aspects, as identified by Van der Meijden and colleagues.

Results: A mix of evidence-based positive and negative impacts of EHR was found across different evaluation dimensions. In addition, a number of contingent factors were found to contribute to successful implementation of EHR.

Limitations: This review does not include white papers or industry surveys, non-English papers, or those published outside the review time period.

Conclusion: This review confirms the potential of this technology to aid patient care and clinical documentation; for example, in improved documentation quality, increased administration efficiency, as well as better quality, safety and coordination of care. Common negative impacts include changes to workflow and work disruption. Mixed observations were found on EHR quality, adoption and satisfaction. The review warns future implementers of EHR to carefully undertake the technology implementation exercise. The review also informs healthcare providers of contingent factors that potentially affect EHR development and implementation in an organisational setting. Our findings suggest a lack of socio-technical connectives between the clinician, the patient and the technology in developing and implementing EHR and future developments in patient-accessible EHR. In addition, a synthesis of DeLone and McLean's framework and Van der Meijden and colleagues' contingent factors has been found useful in comprehensively understanding and evaluating EHR implementations.

Keywords: EHR implementation; Electronic health records (EHRs).

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Health Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Organizational Objectives*