Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are not everywhere yet, but by 2014 they will be, given the mandate in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. There are many things we don't know about EHRs, but one thing we know for sure: Like other big technological disruptions, implementing them is enormously stressful. Given the looming deadline, relatively little research has been done into the experience of clinicians in implementing health IT and EHR. If conflict or a problem arises, where and why? How do people then navigate their way through it?
I'll answer these questions by presenting research I conducted during eighteen-month longitudinal ethnography in a networked group of ambulatory care clinics during the transition from a paper record system to an EHR. It's a compelling case study of the clinician experience during the transition to EHR, with its empirical examination of the contexts, routines, and conflicts. I'll discuss the critical role organizational culture plays in the way people learn about technology, identify issues, and manage problems. This can help clinicians, administrators, and designers anticipate stress, conflict, and the consequences of both.
Leah Reich, Ph.D. is an ethnographer, writer, and photographer. She conducts research as an experimental ethnographer for XpcXpts. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine in Sociology, her M.A. from Georgetown in Communication, Culture, and Technology, and her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Comparative Literature. She previously worked for IGN.com as Ask Leah, the advice columnist.
BayCHI Program Chair Paul Sas, host of this program, is an experimental designer for XpcXpts.