Poster Presentations

P-14: Evaluating Perceived Barriers to EMR Adoption in Kitchener, Ontario

Chen, M.*, To, E.*, Yeung, K.*, Lo, C.

McMaster University

Background/Objective: Electronic medical records (EMR) enable clinicians to store, retrieve and manipulate patient health information electronically. EMRs improve access to patient records, practice efficiency and billing accuracy. Canada currently lags behind other countries in EMR adoption rates, with Ontario falling below the Canadian average. This study aimed to identify perceived barriers to EMR adoption faced by Kitchener primary care practices.
Methods: A survey was generated to identify demographic information of primary care practices and potential barriers to EMR adoption. These barriers were graded using a 5 point Likert scale adopted from Gans et al.  The survey was mailed to ninety unique primary practice locations, as identified through the "All Doctors Search" on The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario website. 

Results and Conclusion: Currently, thirteen surveys have been returned.  Seven practices had adopted an EMR system more than five years ago ("EMR Practices") and six practices had either not adopted an EMR system or have adopted an EMR system in the past five years ("Non-EMR Practices").  The average number of patients in the EMR Practices was 2,800 and Non-EMR Practices was 1,592.  Both groups reported the same top three barriers to EMR adoption: inability to easily input historic medical record data into EMR, technical support, and affordability.  For practices that have not adopted EMR, an additional major barrier was "lack of support from practice physicians". This study is currently in its data collection phase, and the authors are awaiting further survey responses before drawing conclusions on the data.