Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type

Professional Report

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Liam O'Neill

Abstract

The electronic health record (EHR) is an array of computer applications that is being touted as a key patient safety, quality and hospital efficiency initiative. Due to the complexity of the health care environment, the implementation of an EHR can be challenging especially if health care providers, in particular physicians, are not supportive of the process. Physicians play a key role in the provision of health care and should be involved in all phases of the implementation process. Variations of EHR acceptance have been widely documented highlighting the importance of a well-planned implementation process. Theoretical frameworks, such as Roger’s Science of Diffusion of Innovation, provide guidance on how process changes can be successfully incorporated into organizations and the physician champion role can be utilized as an extensive of the theory. To illustrate how an EHR implementation can employ the physician champion role to achieve widespread adoption, a case history of a 724 bed, private not for profit hospital will be presented. The rest of this paper will be organized as follows: In the first section a review of the history of the EHR; in the second section, a discussion of barriers to implementation; in the third section, an overview of the Science of Diffusion of Innovation; in the forth section, the presentation of the physician champion role; in the fifth section a recommendation for the physician role in an EHR implementation; and in the sixth section, the case history of an actual EHR implementation.

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