The story behind the story: physician skepticism about relying on clinical information technologies to reduce medical errors.
Int J Med Inform. 2007 Nov-Dec;76(11-12):836-42
Authors: McAlearney AS, Chisolm DJ, Schweikhart S, Medow MA, Kelleher K
PURPOSE: In order to better understand physicians' perspectives about the use of clinical information technology (CIT) to reduce medical errors, we asked physicians about opportunities and issues around clinical use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, order sets within CPOE, and handheld computers (HHCs). METHODS: We conducted 10 focus groups including 71 physicians involved in technology implementation efforts across the US between April 2002 and February 2005. RESULTS: Two major themes emerged across focus groups around reliance on CIT to reduce errors: (1) can it work? and (2) at what cost to the medical profession? Within the first theme, physicians expressed concern about the appropriateness of physician-directed CIT as a solution for medical errors, concerns regarding the current technical capabilities and level of technical support for CIT solutions, and concern about the introduction of new errors. Within the second theme, physicians were particularly concerned about time efficiency and workload redistribution associated with the introduction of CIT. Across focus groups, physicians tended to generalize about the role of all IT in their lives, potentially biasing opinions about specific technologies. CONCLUSIONS: Health care organizations attempting to promote physician use of CIT are advised to deepen consideration of physicians' perspectives about technology adoption and use in order to address their concerns, reduce skepticism, and increase the likelihood of implementation success.
PMID: 17112779 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]