Effects of Technological Experience on Adoption and Usage of Electronic Health Records
The integration of electronic health records in the IT infrastructures supporting medical facilities enables improved access to and recording of patient data, enhanced ability to make more informed and more-timely decisions, and decreased errors. Despite these benefits, there are mixed results as to the use of EHR. The aim of this research is to determine if medical health professionals who lack experience with technology are slower to adopt and use electronic health records (EHR). Research has shown that the healthcare industry is plagued by rapidly increasing costs and poor quality. The United States medical care is the world’s most costly, but its outcomes are mediocre compared with other industrialized, and some non-industrialized, nations. Medical errors are a major problem resulting in upwards of 98000 deaths a year; as a result, patient safety has become a top priority. The healthcare system has been slow to take advantage of EHR and realize the benefits of computerization: that is, to improve access to records and patient data, to reduce incorrect dose errors, avoid drug interactions, and ensure the right patient is in the operating room (Noteboom 2012). Despite the obvious benefits a 2007 survey by the American Hospital Association reported that only 11% of hospitals had fully implemented EHR. Another study by Vishwanath& Scamurra reported less than 10% of physicians in different practices and settings in the US use EHR. Blumenthal (2009) cites only 1.5% of US hospitals have comprehensive EHR systems. A similar 2009 study by the American Hospital Association shows less than 2% of hospitals use comprehensive EHR and about 8% use a basic EHR in at least one care unit. These findings indicate the adoption of HER continues to be low in US hospitals (Manos, 2009). Understanding the reason for the lack of technological integration is pivotal to securing quality and affordable medical care. Education expert Mark Prensky (2001) defined two terms, digital natives and digital immigrants, which he used to describe those who have an innate ability for technology from an early age (native) and those who are slower to learn and adopt it (immigrant). This disparity is suggested to play a key role in the ability and desire of professional to use technological solutions in their day-to-day activities. Our intent is to expand this possibility to medical health professionals’ use of electronic health records. Our research will attempt to determine if being native to technology has any impact on a practitioner’s desire to incorporate information technology in to their work routine. We will also see if natives have perform better in health information settings as has been shown in other areas. Previous Research
A 2008 study by DesRoches et al. attempted to discern barriers to the adoption of electronic health records. The authors conducted a survey of physicians registered in the masterfile of the American Medical Association, excluding Doctors of Osteopathy. The authors listed 4 basic reasons the respondents could choose from; financial barriers, organizational barriers, legal barriers, and barriers from the state of the technology. Respondents could further clarify their responses base on subgroups. Financial barriers could include initial capital to implement the systems or uncertainty about the return on investment. Organizational barriers were sub-divided in to physician didn’t want to, the physicians did not have the capacity to, or they feared there would be a loss of productivity during implementation. Legal barriers included fears of breaches of confidentiality, hackers, and legal liability. State of technology included failure to locate an EHR that could meet their needs or that the system would become obsolete to quickly. Their results show that 66% of physicians without EHR’s cited capital costs...
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