An analysis of trends, perceptions, and use patterns of electronic medical records among US family practice residency programs.Fam Med. 2000 Feb; 32(2):109-14.FM
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
This study intended to quantify electronic medical record (EMR) use in family practice residencies, associate program characteristics with EMR use, and identify perceptions and issues about the use of EMRs.
A survey was mailed to all 454 US family practice residency programs, with a 72% response rate. The survey, which was pretested and revised, was designed to identify benefits, problems, perceptions, and trends regarding the use of EMRs.
Fifty-five of 329 programs (17%) were using an EMR, while 10 (3%) had used an EMR but discontinued. Programs in the South reported the highest EMR use (21%, 21/99), and those in the North Central region reported the lowest use (11%, 11/102). EMR use was highest in university settings (19%, 15/81), programs offering fellowships (26%, 24/92), new programs (36%, 18/48), and programs that require research (22%, 20/91). Of the 329 programs that responded, 43% (143 programs) reported having information systems (IS) committees. Of the 55 programs currently using EMRs, 78% had at least one full-time equivalent IS technician. Of programs that discontinued use, software inadequacy was the most frequently cited reason (40%, 4/10). Programs that had never used EMR systems (n = 264) were more likely than those that had used EMRs (n = 65) to favorably perceive EMRs with respect to 1) meeting program requirements (44% versus 34%), 2) documenting improved patient care (65% versus 43%), 3) providing a reliable research database (94% versus 55%), and 4) documenting resident experience (92% versus 53%). Of the 264 (80%) programs that had never used an EMR, 172 (65%) plan to implement one.
EMR use is low among US family practice residency programs, but some success in implementation of EMRs has been achieved. Based on the responses to this survey, use will likely increase from 55 of 329 programs (17%) to 153 of 329 (47%) by 2000.