Perceived importance of EMR functions and physician characteristics


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate why physicians in the USA have been reluctant to embrace electronic medical record (EMR) technology. More specifically, the present study aims to examine physicians' perceptions regarding the importance of various functions of EMR systems and the extent to which physician characteristics were related to the perceived importance of the functions. Design-methodology-approach A mail survey was sent to 358 physicians affiliated with a large, multi-specialty clinic located in the Midwest region of the USA. Findings Although previous studies suggest that the age, computer sophistication, and medical specialty of physicians impacts the extent to which they use EMR technology, the present study found very little evidence that these characteristics of the physicians were related to the perceived importance of EMR functions. Practical implications Since the results demonstrate that physicians view EMR technology as highly important, it was concluded that difference in the use of EMR technology among physicians was not primarily the result of differences in the perceived importance of EMR technology. Rather, it appears that a lack of computer skills may account for much of the resistance to adopting EMR technology. Thus, training to increase computer proficiency among physicians may be the key to increasing the acceptance of EMR technology. Originality-value The paper provides useful information on physicians' perceptions of EMR technology. © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Information Technology and Cybersecurity

Document Type





Communication technologies, Doctors, Health services, Perception, Records management

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Systems and Information Technology