With the alarming statistics concerning the quality of national health care, it is hoped that electronic health records (EHRs) will reduce inefficiencies associated with medical delivery and improve patient safety. This study reports the results of a survey that demonstrates a pattern in EHR system implementation that indicates that health-care information technology decisions are based more on the preferences of information technology professionals (ITPs) and hospital administrators than clinicians.Methods:
We present survey data highlighting the growing discrepancy in EHR-related satisfaction between clinicians and ITPs. We conducted a literature search to identify major barriers that must be overcome to achieve optimal EHR benefits. We summarize our recommendations in order to maximize the favorable impact of EHRs on the health-care system.Results:
The existing gap in postimplementation EHR satisfaction ratings between ITPs and clinicians reveals an underlying systematic problem. Electronic medical record vendors perceive administrators and ITPs as the “buyers” for many EHR systems, and their needs are given higher priority than those of clinicians. This possibly may lead to the lack of clinically optimized EHRs, with systems often presenting as rigid and standardized with a limited exchange of health information.Conclusions:
EHRs have the potential to become a powerful tool that may improve many processes related to health care, including quality, safety, and economical aspects. The involvement of physicians in every step of the process, from electronic medical record selection to acquisition, implementation, and ongoing optimization, is crucial for enabling the achievement of the medical organization’s mission.