Perspectives on electronic medical record implementation after two years of use in primary health care practice

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This is a review of Terry, A. L., Brown, J.B., Bestard Denomme, L., Thind, A., & Stewart, M. 2012 article, “Perspectives on Electronic Medical Record Implementation after Two Years of Use in Primary Health Care Practice”.[1]


This article describes the physician and clinical staff perspectives of electronic medical record (EMR) implementation after two years of use within a primary health care practice in Canada. The authors also state that there is a lack of evidence pertaining to information that will help facilitate information technology adoption among various health care providers. It is also noted that there is little information on how primary health care providers use specific EMR features as well as explore the early and later adoption of an in EMR. Therefore, a qualitative study was conducted to shed some more light on EMR usage within a primary health care setting.


The authors conducted a descriptive qualitative approach as it allowed them to explore questions about an individual’s concerns or responses regarding an event. Participants included 30 primary health care provider and staff members; 7 family physicians, 7 other health care professionals (nurses, nurse pracitioners), and 5 administrative staff”.[1]. The size of the practices were an average of 1,300 patients. Interviews with participants were conducted exploring topics such as participants’ experiences of EMR adoption, ongoing barriers and facilitators of current use of the EMR in their practice.

Results and Discussion

Researchers found there were various factors that hindered the EMR use they included information technology challenges that ranged from “learning to use an EMR, electronic connectivity, and scanning; and variability in EMR use” [1]. A positive result was that researchers found two factors that motivated ongoing use. They were improved efficiency in providing patient care and confidence with computers and the EMR usage. It was also noted that some participants had a challenge in using an EMR compared to the use of paper charts. Those participants had a hard time getting rid of paper use methods. Computer skills also varied among each participant and also hindered EMR usage.


Understanding the different perspectives on the usage of an EMR from various individuals is important. They can give great insight on how to improve EMR implementation and develop methods in which to improve EMR user satisfaction and acceptance within a primary health care setting. This study gives valuable input on the perception of an EMR after implementation over an extended time period. The EMR was not just recently installed which provides information on various areas of the EMR that needs improvements. This article also discusses perceptions from Administrative staff and nurses. This is very important to include when trying to get EMR user feedback as physicians are not the only personnel who work with an EMR daily. Overall, this article was an interesting article offering more insight of how an EMR is perceived in a primary health care setting.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Terry, A. L., Brown, J. B., Bestard Denomme, L., Thind, A., & Stewart , M. (2012). Perspectives on electronic medical record implementation after two years of use in primary health care practice. J Am Board Fam Med., 25(4), 522-7. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2012.04.110089. Retrieved from: