May 2009

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology


Oregon Health & Science University


U.S. hospitals are facing the worst nursing shortage in 50 years due in part to an aging workforce. Discussions concerning the impact of the aging nursing workforce have focused on the vacancies that will be created by retirement. However, a less considered impact is that disability prevalence increases with age. Concurrently, the passage of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will accelerate electronic health record (EHR) adoption making the EHR as necessary as the stethoscope in providing patient care. The convergence of these forces should motivate hospitals to better understand electronic health record software accessibility. The motivation should come from a desire to satisfy the “reasonable accommodations” requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to avoid having nurses leaving the workforce prematurely. This study will examine two issues: the understanding and opinions of Inpatient EHR system analysts towards software accessibility and the extent to which three major inpatient electronic health records have accessibility design principles incorporated into the software. The study will begin to shed light on an area of disability accommodation that has yet to be researched. The knowledge gained from this study will inform and guide future research.




School of Medicine



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.