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Maria S. Cross, George W. Aylward, Jugnoo S Rahi; The experiences and perceptions of paediatric ophthalmic clinicians using electronic medical records in the United Kingdom. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):5546. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are at the core of a recent movement towards information-driven healthcare. However, paucity in the evidence base surrounding EMR adoption, use and evaluation within paediatric ophthalmology hinders technological development and meaningful application within the field.We conducted a national survey to investigate paediatric ophthalmic clinicians’ experiences and perceptions surrounding routine EMR use in the United Kingdom (UK).
A survey was designed with four sections that considered (1) routine documentation practices, (2) the perceived benefits of routine EMR use, (3) the perceived barriers, and (4) optional questions assessing experiences of routine EMR use.The survey was administered online. Email invitations were sent to potential participants via the national mailing list for paediatric ophthalmologists, with two reminder emails sent three weeks apart. Responses were collected between June and August 2015, and analysed using univariate statistical tests.
90 individuals from 42 different UK hospitals completed the survey. Only 16.9% of respondents routinely use electronic documentation methods, although 64.4% reported some experience using an EMR. Respondents’ perceptions varied according to these experiences. Individuals with any prior experience (N=58) were significantly more like to identify ‘difficult-to-navigate system designs’ (p=0.013) and ‘poor user interface’ (p=0.015) as barriers or challenges preventing routine EMR use. However in both groups, ‘software functionalities not meeting clinical needs’ was most frequently identified as the biggest barrier preventing use (25.3% of all individuals).
This survey suggests UK paediatric ophthalmic clinicians do not believe EMRs meet clinical demands. The increased likelihood of those with prior EMR experience to select certain usability-related barriers indicates system usability is a bona fide challenge faced when adopting these systems.These findings highlight the need to fully understand the specific clinical requirements and limitations of EMR users during system design, procurement and implementation, to produce both a useful and usable information system.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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