Document Type

Conference Paper

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Information Science, 3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, Health care sciences and services, Nursing

Publication Details

Presented at the 15th Annual Conference of The Health Informatics Society of Ireland, Stillorgan Dublin November 2010

Abstract

It is estimated that 98,000 people die in hospitals yearly in the USA as a result of medical errors (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2009). Electronic Health Records (EHR) can offer improved patient safety. EHRs are being implemented by many countries, however, not all health professionals have welcomed them (MORI Social Research Institute, 2006). As outlined in the National Health Information Strategy (NHIS) document, Ireland has plans to introduce an EHR. Attitudes of health professionals are a significant factor for the successful implementation and adoption of a new clinical information system. This study aimed to gauge the attitude of health professionals in Ireland to electronic data sharing within an integrated care electronic health record (ICEHR). A questionnaire identified attitudes of health professionals in Ireland to EHRs. This resulted in the majority supporting the introduction of an ICEHR system and indicating patient care and safety as the reasons for their support. They believed patient care, communications, data quality and work practices would be improved as a result. Most were in favour of the introduction of a Unique Health Identifier (UHI). Many respondents indicated that they believe patient confidentiality could be jeopardised due to electronically sharing detailed patient clinical information. Internal threats to the organisation, staff inappropriately accessing patient information, and external threats, such as hackers or insurance companies, were a concern. Many respondents reported that they would use the clinical information from an ICEHR system. Their experiences with similar recently implemented systems have left them with a very positive attitude.

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