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    To understand the key challenges to adoption of advanced features of electronic medical records (EMRs) in office practice, and to better understand these challenges in a Canadian context. Mixed-methods study. Manitoba. Health care providers and staff in 5 primary care offices. Level of EMR adoption was assessed, and field notes from interviews and discussion groups were qualitatively analyzed for common challenges and themes across all sites. Fifty-seven interviews and 4 discussion groups were conducted from November 2011 to January 2012. Electronic medical record adoption scores ranged from 2.3 to 3.0 (out of a theoretical maximum of 5). Practices often scored lower than expected on use of decision support, providing patients with access to their own data, and use of practice-reporting tools. Qualitative analysis showed there were ceiling effects to EMR adoption owing to how the EMR was implemented, the supporting eHealth infrastructure, lack of awareness or availability of EMR functionality, and poor EMR data quality. Many practitioners used their EMRs as "electronic paper records" and were not using advanced features of their EMRs that could further enhance practice. Data-quality issues within the EMRs could affect future attempts at using these features. Education and quality improvement activities to support data quality and EMR optimization are likely needed to support practices in maximizing their use of EMRs.


    Morgan Price, Alex Singer, Julie Kim. Adopting electronic medical records: are they just electronic paper records? Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien. 2013 Jul;59(7):e322-9

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    PMID: 23851560

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