Patient experiences with electronic medical records: Lessons learned

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Abstract

Purpose:

To describe the lived experience of patients communicating with their nurse practitioners and physicians while using paper health records (PHRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) in the examination rooms. The significance of the study lies in the salience of communication between the patient and provider in promoting optimal clinical outcomes and the highest level of patient satisfaction.

Data sources:

The study used a qualitative, phenomenological design. Audio-taped focus group interviews were conducted with 21 patients from a diabetes clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. Patients had visits with the provider before and after implementation of EHRs in the clinic.

Conclusions:

The four themes that emerged from the three focus groups included communication issues, patient preferences for electronic records, safety and security concerns, and transition problems with implementation of EHRs.

Implications for practice:

Potential benefits for nurse practitioners implementing the recommendations in this study include enhanced communication between patients and providers while using EHRs, increased patient satisfaction, higher levels of nurse practitioner and physician satisfaction, and avoidance of communication issues during implementation of EHR systems.

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