Methods Inf Med 2019; 58(02/03): 063-070
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1695006
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Adoption of the Electronic Health Record by Physicians

Saja A. Al-Rayes
1  Department of Health Information Management Technology, Public Health College, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Arwa Alumran
1  Department of Health Information Management Technology, Public Health College, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Weam AlFayez
2  Health Informatics Department, King Fahd Military Medical Complex, Dhahran City, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
3  Department of Health Information Management and Technology, Public Health College, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.
Further Information

Publication History

18 February 2019

11 July 2019

Publication Date:
12 September 2019 (online)


Background Health information technology, especially the electronic health record (EHR) systems, improves health care quality and patient safety.

Objectives This study's objectives are as follows: first, to explore the adoption of EHR systems among physicians in Saudi Arabia (with King Fahd Military Medical Complex as the location of the pilot study), and second, to identify the factors that influence these physicians' adoption of such systems.

Methods This cross-sectional quantitative study is based on a paper survey that was administered to a sample of 213 physicians. The theoretical model is a version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) that features the following additional variables: resistance to change, training, and social influence.

Results The sample includes 133 (62%) physicians who used EHRs and 80 (38%) who did not. The main findings show that users and nonusers of the EHR system differ significantly for several factors such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, social influence, and resistance to change. In addition, age, work experience, and medical specialty are significantly associated with physicians' use of the EHR system.

Conclusion To increase EHR systems' adoption rate, the following elements should be improved: the systems' design, the social environments, and the physicians' awareness of the systems' benefits. This is the first study to produce a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the factors that influences physicians' use of the EHR system at a Saudi hospital in the Eastern Province. Further studies are needed to measure how these factors influence physicians' use of EHRs in other settings.


Conception and design of study: S.A.R., A.U., and W.F.; acquisition of data: S.A.R. and W.F.; analysis and interpretation of data: S.A.R., W.F., and A.U.; drafting the manuscript: S.A.R., W.F., and A.U.; revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content: S.A.R., W.F., and A.U.; approval of the version of the manuscript to be published by: S.A.R., W.F, and A.U.

Supplementary Material