Working with an Electronic Medical Record in Ambulatory Care: A Study of Patient Perceptions of Intrusiveness

Rizer MK, Sieck C, Lehman JS, Hefner JL, Huerta TR, McAlearney AS
Perspect Health Inf Manag 14 1g 01/01/2017


OBJECTIVE: To assess patient perceptions of electronic medical record (EMR) intrusiveness during ambulatory visits to clinics associated with a large academic medical center.

METHOD: We conducted a survey of patients seen at any of 98 academic medical center clinics. The survey assessed demographics, visit satisfaction, computer use, and perceived intrusiveness of the computer.

RESULTS: Of 7,058 patients, slightly more than 80 percent reported that the physician had used the computer while in the room, but only 24 percent were shown results in the EMR. Most patients were very satisfied or satisfied with their visit and did not find the computer intrusive (83 percent). Younger respondents, those shown results, and those who reported that the physician used the computer were more likely to perceive the computer as intrusive. Qualitative comments suggest different perceptions related to computer intrusiveness than to EMR use more generally.

DISCUSSION: Patients were generally accepting of EMRs and therefore use of computers in the exam room. However, subgroups of patients may require greater study to better understand patient perceptions related to EMR use and intrusiveness.

CONCLUSION: Results suggest the need for greater focus on how physicians use computers in the exam room in a manner that facilitates maintaining good rapport with patients.

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