Electronic patient record evaluation in community mental health

John Meredith


Background Deployment of electronic patient records (EPRs) is one of the primary goals of national NHS information technology (IT) initiatives. However, many systems come into disrepute through poor planning or design flaws, and media scrutiny focuses on these problems rather than the potential gains.
Objective To evaluate the deployment of an EPR in a community mental health setting.
Method A validated user questionnaire was issued to all clinically qualified staff working in community mental health teams followed by interview and validation phases. The study encompassed both quantitative and qualitative mechanisms to establish the efficacy and usability of the system.
Results The questionnaire had a response rate of 49.3%. Overall, the response was positive, with almost no extreme negative responses. Of respondents, 88.5% were satisfied with system accuracy, while 91.7% of responses indicated that data was made available in a timely manner. Of those surveyed, 88.7% agreed the system was 'worth the time and effort required to use it'. Additionally, electronic notes are used more frequently than paper-based equivalents.
Conclusion The research concludes that the implemented system appears to offer a robust EPR that gives its users a high degree of satisfaction and provides tangible benefits to clinical staff.


electronic patient record; evaluation; mental health

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v17i4.739


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