Brief review: Adoption of electronic medical records to enhance acute pain management
Goldstein, D. H.
VanDenKerkhof, Elizabeth G.
Penning, J. P.
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to examine physician barriers to adopting electronic medical records (EMRs) as well as anesthesiologists' experiences with the EMRs used by the acute pain management service at two tertiary care centres in Canada. SOURCE: We first review the recent literature to determine if physician barriers to adoption are changing given the exponential growth of information technology and the evolving healthcare environment. We next report on institutional experience from two academic health sciences centres regarding the challenges they encountered over the past ten years in developing and implementing an electronic medical record system for acute pain management. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The key identified barriers to adoption of EMRs are financial, technological, and time constraints. These barriers are identical to those reported in a systematic review performed prior to 2009 and remain significant factors challenging implementation. These challenges were encountered during our institution's process of adopting EMRs specific to acute pain management. In addition, our findings emphasize the importance of physician participation in the development and implementation stages of EMRs in order to incorporate their feedback and ensure the EMR system is in keeping with their workflow. CONCLUSIONS: Use of EMRs will inevitably become the standard of care; however, many barriers persist to impede their implementation and adoption. These challenges to implementation can be facilitated by a corporate strategy for change that acknowledges the barriers and provides the resources for implementation. Adoption will facilitate benefits in communication, patient management, research, and improved patient safety.