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Abstract

In this paper, we develop and validate a comprehensive theoretical model of electronic medical record (EMR) system adoption in Canadian medical practices. Canada lags other developed countries in the adoption of information technology (IT) in healthcare, and medical practice adoption of EMRs is particularly low. Most Canadian medical practices have the distinct feature of blending characteristics of both individual physicians and small clinics in private practice. We built a theoretical model combining individual-type and organizational-type perceptions (from one point of view) and opportunities and barriers (from another point of view) and tested it with 119 physicians from across Canada. Results show a reasonably valid model explaining 55.3 percent of the physicians’ intent to adopt EMRs in their clinics. We found that physicians would adopt EMRs if they saw these systems as first being easy to use and second as being useful. Physicians’ innovativeness regarding the use of new IT was an additional favoring factor. Conversely, physicians would choose not to adopt EMRs if they feared such systems would not perform as expected, would involve possible legal and privacy risks, would affect clinics’ productivity, and would not be a justified adoption altogether. Overall, we found that physicians saw more opportunities than obstacles in using EMRs in their practices.

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