Do electronic medical record (EMR) demonstrations change attitudes, knowledge, skills or needs?

Patrick Beiter, Jonathan Sorscher, Carol Henderson, Mary Talen


Introduction Electronic medical records (EMRs) are the future of primary care. Transition to electronic records can have a significant impact on physicians, office staff, nursing staff and patients. There are no published EMRstudies combining these four populations or studies that have evaluated the impact of EMR demonstrations. To better understand the impact of EMRs, an online survey was administered before and after EMR demonstrations.
Methods A longitudinal cohort survey design was used to assess primary outcomes (attitudes, knowledge, skills and needs) related to EMRs in four populations that were divided into two groups - one of physicians and the other of nursing staff, office staff and patients. A total of 39 participants (19 physicians and 20 staff/patients) completed a pretest survey four weeks prior to and post-test surveys at four and ten weeks after EMR demonstrations. Mean composite scores for each primary outcome were calculated for each group and mean differences were calculated and compared within and between groups - from baseline to four weeks and four to ten weeks using paired t-tests and Student's t-tests, respectively.
Results Groups differed in several areas: physicians were younger, had more education and had fewer years of experience in a primary care office. There were no significant differences in gender or computer experience between groups. Staff/patients reported significant improvements in attitudes, knowledge and needs from baseline to four weeks (P<0.05, P<0.01 and P<0.05). Physician attitudes, knowledge and needs significantly increased at week four (P<0.05, P<0.01 and P<0.05). Attitudes, knowledge and needs were sustained in both groups from week four through to week ten.
Conclusion EMR demonstrations improved attitudes, knowledge and needs of staff/patients and physicians. EMR demonstrations may be effective in favorably influencing healthcare personnel towards EMRs.


attitudes; electronic medical records; knowledge

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