Implementation of an electronic medical record system in previously computer-naïve primary care centres: a pilot study from Cyprus

George Samoutis, Elpidoforos Soteriades, Dimitris Kounalakis, Theodora Zachariadou, Anastasios Philalithis, Christos Lionis

Abstract


Background The computer-based electronic medical record (EMR) is an essential new technology in health care, contributing to high-quality patient care and efficient patient management. The majority of southern European countries, however, have not yet implemented universal EMR systems and many efforts are still ongoing. We describe the development of an EMR system and its pilot implementation and evaluation in two previously computer-na've public primary care centres in Cyprus.
Methods One urban and one rural primary care centre along with their personnel (physicians and nurses) were selected to participate. Both qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools were used during the implementation phase. Qualitative data analysis was based on the framework approach, whereas quantitative assessment was based on a nine-item questionnaire and EMR usage parameters.
Results Two public primary care centres participated, and a total often health professionals served as EMR system evaluators. Physicians and nurses rated EMR relatively highly, while patients were the most enthusiastic supporters for the new information system. Major implementation impediments were the physicians' perceptions that EMR usage negatively affected their workflow, physicians' legal concerns, lack of incentives, system breakdowns, software design problems, transition difficulties and lack of familiarity with electronic equipment.
Conclusion The importance of combining qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools is highlighted. More efforts are needed for the universal adoption and routine use of EMR in the primary care system of Cyprus as several barriers to adoption exist; however, none is insurmountable. Computerised systems could improve efficiency and quality of care in Cyprus, benefiting the entire population.

Keywords


Cyprus; electronic medical record; primary care

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v15i4.660

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