Health Care IT


Physicians, as highly-trained professionals, have a sense of autonomy about how they perform their work. Electronic healthrecord (EHR) systems can be constraining and thus may affect physicians’ sense of autonomy. Such effects have beenreported in the literature, but they may be due to managers using the EHR to exercise more control. We are studying an EHRimplementation in an organization known for the autonomy it allows affiliated primary care practices. We are collectinglongitudinal, qualitative data and using grounded theory methods. We found that healthcare professionals think broadlyabout autonomy and want control over how their practices operate. After the implementation of the basic EHR, fewautonomy effects were observed, but more functionality is being implemented, including physician order entry and a patientportal, that may have stronger effects on autonomy. To test these possibilities, we will be collecting a second round of dataafter physician order entry is implemented.