Electronic medical records: the family practice resident perspective.Fam Med. 2001 Feb; 33(2):128-32.FM
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Few studies have included family practice residents' perceptions regarding the use of electronic medical records (EMR) in a residency program. This study determined residents' perceptions of EMR systems and what variables influenced those perceptions. Specifically, we studied how EMR training and previous computer background influenced resident perception of difficulty in EMR implementation, time efficiency, preventive care opportunities, accuracy of medical records, and desired future use of EMR systems. Questions targeted the use of the EMR in the resident continuity clinic.
Survey questionnaires about the use of EMR systems in the residents' continuity clinic were mailed to residency directors and residents of 219 family practice residency programs. Respondents were given the opportunity to comment on benefits of and concerns about EMR.
Resident response rate was 46% in programs using EMR systems. Findings revealed that the length of EMR training a resident received was unrelated to the perceived adequacy of training but was related to the residents' assessment of the difficulty of implementing the EMR in their continuity clinic. Residents who perceived training to be adequate and perceived a relative ease of implementing the EMR were more likely to perceive the EMR to be beneficial and were more likely to choose the EMR over traditional paper records for future use. Computer background/experience was not related to perceived satisfaction with the EMR, nor was it related to perceived difficulty of implementation, adequacy of training, or anticipated future use of an EMR system.
Although residents recognize the benefits of the EMR, our study demonstrates an overall ambivalence and frustration toward EMR systems currently in use in family practice residency continuity clinics. However, the training they receive regarding EMR use in their residency may influence not only the perceived ease of EMR implementation but attitudes regarding the ability of the EMR to assist them with preventive opportunities, time management, and medical record accuracy. This may in turn have influence on the use of EMR systems in their practices after residency.