First medical contact and physicians' opinion after the implementation of an electronic record system

Published:October 26, 2011DOI:


      Hospitals implement electronic medical record systems (EMRSs) that are intended to support medical and nursing staff in their daily work. Evolution toward more computerization seems inescapable. Nevertheless, this evolution introduced new problems of organization.
      This before-and-after observational study evaluated the door-to-first-medical-contact (FMC) times before and after the introduction of EMRS. A satisfaction questionnaire, administered after the “after” period, measured clinicians' satisfaction concerning computerization in routine clinical use. The following 5 questions were asked: Do you spare time in your note taking with EMRS? Do you spare time in the medical care that you provide to the patients with EMRS? Does EMRS improve the quality of medical care for your patients? Are you satisfied with the EMRS implementation? Would you prefer a return to handwritten records?
      Results showed an increase in door-to-FMC time induced by EMRS and a lower triage capacity. In the satisfaction questionnaire, clinicians reported minimal satisfaction but refused to return to handwritten records.
      The increase in door-to-FMC time may be explained by the improved quantity/quality of data and by the many interruptions due to the software. Medical reorganization was requested after the installation of the EMRS.
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