Barriers to proliferation of electronic medical records

Ignacio Valdes, David Kibbe, Greg Tolleson, Mark Kunik, Laura Petersen

Abstract


Background Error reduction, quality improvement and lowering of cost can all be achieved through electronic integration of healthcare providers. Proliferation of standard electronic health records/ electronic medical records (EHR/EMR) software is an essential precursor of this integration. Proliferation of EHR/EMR software has not occurred in the United States.
Objective To characterise users and non-users of EHR/EMR software, identify potential barriers to proliferation, examine the extent of standardisation across reported EHR/EMR and suggest possible solutions to identified barriers.
Methods We performed a secondary analysis of member survey data collected by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in January 2003. The purpose of the survey was to measure interest in an AAFP-sponsored EHR/EMR service. We examined demographic and purchasing data from the survey by gender, population density, region and age. We also counted the number of different software vendors reported by users of an EHR/EMR to assess the number of users with unique software.
Results Of the 35 554 members contacted, 5517 (15.5%) responded.Of those responding, 1297 (23.5%) reported use of an EHR/EMR. Of the members responding, 81% reported interest in EHR/EMR software and 61% reported cost as a major reason for not purchasing it. At least 264 different EHR/ EMR software programs are currently in use. On average, the percentage of respondents with the same EHR/EMR software is 0.4%.
Discussion The number of AAFP members with unique EHR/EMR software is very large. Fragmentation, caused by the use of hundreds of unique systems, is a major barrier to proliferation of these systems. Many of the barriers to proliferation could be mitigated through the tools and techniques available through Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Keywords


access and evaluation; computerised; healthcare quality; medical informatics; medical records systems

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v12i1.102

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


This is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or their institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal starting from Volume 21 without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open accessFor permission regarding papers published in previous volumes, please contact us.

Privacy statement: The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Online ISSN 2058-4563 - Print ISSN 2058-4555. Published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT