Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An exploratory investigation of physician champions for hospital-based information technology implementations
by Branagan, Linda G., Ph.D., Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay, 2010, 149; 3436974
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the role of physician champions during clinical information technology (IT) implementations. Previous research described this role as requiring both conversional and collaborative activities. Physician champions engage in conversional activities when they advocate for the use of a clinical IT system among their peers; they engage in collaborative activities when influencing the implementation team to modify the system, workflows, or other elements to meet physician needs. This study builds on previous research by exploring the role more deeply, with focus on the challenges that result from the encapsulation of conversional and collaborative activities into a single role.

Interviews were conducted with ten medical doctors who have held the role of physician champion for Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems or similar implementations. Thematic analysis focused on strategies for influence and communication used in both conversional and collaborative contexts, skills used or developed during the implementation effort, and sources and sources of and responses to stress and satisfaction.

Findings demonstrated that physician champions engage in four key activities. These are: front-line support, the process of fielding questions and concerns from peers, peer request triage, the process of determining if a change to the implementation is necessary or desirable, response planning, collaborating with others to establish priority and resource use for changes, and status communication, keeping peers informed about improvements as they are planned and implemented. These activities demand fluid movement between the collaborative and conversional aspects of the role. They also require use of technical vocabulary and the ability to translate between technical and medical contexts to distill peer requests into technical requirements.

The organizational contexts in which physician champions operate have significant impact on their experience of stress and satisfaction in the role. When physician champions carry out response planning as part of a multidisciplinary team, they report a high degree of satisfaction in both the role and the system. Physician champions who do not interact with multidisciplinary teams during response planning have indirect and unpredictable influence on the system and the means through which it is improved. They report less satisfaction with both the role and the system.

Indexing (document details)
School: Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organizational behavior, Health care management
Keywords: Clinical information technology, Electronic medical records, Health information, Medical informatics
Publication Number: 3436974
ISBN: 978-1-124-36595-4
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