Appl Clin Inform 2011; 02(04): 460-471
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2011-05-RA-0033
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Electronic Health Record Adoption – Maybe It’s not about the Money

Physician Super-Users, Electronic Health Records and Patient Care
L. Grabenbauer
1   University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
A. Skinner
1   University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
J. Windle
1   University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 27 May 2011

accepted: 10 October 2011

Publication Date:
16 December 2017 (online)


Objective: The slow adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems has been linked to physician resistance to change and the expense of EHR adoption. This qualitative study was conducted to evaluate benefits, and clarify limitations of two mature, robust, comprehensive EHR Systems by tech-savvy physicians where resistance and expense are not at issue.

Methods: Two EHR systems were examined – the paperless VistA / Computerized Patient Record System used at the Veterans‘ Administration, and the General Electric Centricity Enterprise system used at an academic medical center. A series of interviews was conducted with 20 EHR-savvy multi-institutional internal medicine (IM) faculty and house staff. Grounded theory was used to analyze the transcribed data and build themes. The relevance and importance of themes were constructed by examining their frequency, convergence, and intensity.

Results: Despite eliminating resistance to both adoption and technology as drivers of acceptance, these two robust EHR’s are still viewed as having an adverse impact on two aspects of patient care, physician workflow and team communication. Both EHR’s had perceived strengths but also significant limitations and neither were able to satisfactorily address all of the physicians’ needs.

Conclusion: Difficulties related to physician acceptance reflect real concerns about EHR impact on patient care. Physicians are optimistic about the future benefits of EHR systems, but are frustrated with the non-intuitive interfaces and cumbersome data searches of existing EHRs.