A collaborative study including Dr. Renee Hotchkiss at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health examines knowledge, readiness, and perceptions of healthcare providers in safety net clinics about electronic medical records (EMR) and e-prescribing. The study titled “Provider Perceptions of electronic medical records and e-prescribing and their integration into safety net clinics,” was conducted in six safety net clinics in southeast Georgia that serve a disproportionately high number of uninsured and underinsured individuals. Qualitative data was collected during both focus groups and intercept interviews.
The findings from the formative study show that healthcare providers within safety net clinics are knowledgeable about EMR and overall ready to adopt new technologies. The application of strategies – building an EMR infrastructure, meeting provider needs, and keeping a patient focus – should reduce provider speculation, uncertainty, and resistance and facilitate a smooth restructuring. Healthcare practitioners recognize the benefits of EMR and e-prescribing and realize that if used to its full potential, these technologies should lead to the expected result of increased efficiency, enhancing quality improvement, cost containment and ultimately improving patient health outcomes.