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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Qualitative Study of Social Barriers to Digitizing Medical Records
by Belcher, Kenneth L., II, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 137; 3532617
Abstract (Summary)

The cost of the American healthcare system has escalated to the point that the United States spends more per patient than any other country. Based on the cost controls and increase in efficiency seen in other industries, many agree that information technology solutions should be adopted by the American healthcare industry. However, healthcare practitioners in the United States have shown a reluctance to adopt digital information systems. Instead of focusing on the benefits of implementing healthcare information systems and adopting electronic medical records, this research focused on the reluctance to adopting information technology in the face of the perceived benefits. Specifically, this research study was an investigation of the social barriers that deter the adoption of electronic medical records. Following a qualitative research approach, the perspectives of healthcare executives, practitioners, and patients regarding digital information systems were captured. The qualitative method included a unified theory of acceptance and use of technology theoretical framework, in which patient surveys, practitioner focus groups, and executive management interviews were used. A localized study located in San Antonio, Texas revealed that although participants perceived electronic medical records and healthcare information technology as beneficial there were concerns. The primary concerns regarding the use of electronic medical records and healthcare information technology were varied among the participant groups. Healthcare executives were concerned with costs and data integrity, healthcare practitioners were concerned with training and the impact to medical treatments, and patients were concerned with privacy and security. Age was not shown as a major influence in the acceptance of electronic medical records and healthcare information systems. The research concluded that America is ready for the widespread use of electronic medical records and healthcare information systems, but the fear of changing technology standards hinders the implementation. Future research should address the relationship between a uniquely localized American healthcare system and the development of data and information standards. Additionally, future research should focus on revealing the best governing body for standards of electronic medical records and healthcare information systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hammoud, Mohamad Saleh
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Information Technology, Health care management
Keywords: Cost control, Healthcare information management, Medical records, Social barriers
Publication Number: 3532617
ISBN: 978-1-267-75624-4
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