Implementation of an electronic medical record in family practice: a case study

Marie-Pierre Gagnon, Marie Desmartis, Michel Labrecque, France L_gar_, Lise Lamothe, Jean-Paul Fortin, Jean-François Rancourt, Julie Duplantie


Background Electronic medical records (EMRs) have the potential to foster a safer, more effective and more efficient healthcare system. However, their implementation in primary care practice remains a challenge.
Objective This study aims at exploring factors that have influenced the successful implementation of an EMR system in a family medicine group (FMG) in the Province of Qu_bec, Canada.
Methods A case study approach was selected to get a deep understanding of the phenomenon in its context. The case was chosen on the basis that it was the first FMG in Qu_bec to implement a full EMR used by all clinicians. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants.
Results Factors that have influenced the success of the EMR implementation were classified under three broad themes: a project leader who combined the roles of clinical, technology and knowledge champion; an organisation that was open to and supportive of change; and an evidence-based implementation strategy tailored to the local context and adoption pace.
Conclusions This study underscores the importance of a champion for successful EMR implementation. It proposes a set of roles and characteristics that could be found in a champion as well as other elements for a successful EMR implementation strategy.


champion; electronic medical records; family medicine group; implementation; knowledge transfer

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