May 2008

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics


Oregon Health & Science University


Electronic medical record systems (EMRs) are being increasingly used as a means of reducing medical errors while increasing the quality of care. Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) has used HealthConnect, the internal branding for the EMR EpicCare (Epic Systems Corporation, Madison, WI) since 1992. The goal of this study was to determine the factors that influence the usage and effectiveness of tools that HealthConnect has to offer to clinicians. Two focus groups from KPNW consisting of 19 departmental leaders and 11 clinical content experts were interviewed. All participants had worked at Kaiser Permanente for at least 10 years and felt comfortable using computers. Recorded interviews were transcribed, summarized and analyzed for common themes that could help identify factors of interest Three main themes were identified: 1) New and improved clinical content tools were more useful if they were easy to access. 2) HealthConnect tools that interfere with clinicians' workflow were not being used, and were being ignored. 3) Support from the departmental leaders and clinical content experts as well as the employment of different forms of training were highly encouraged.




School of Medicine



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