Healthcare organizations have began switching to electronic health records (EHR) by the early 2000’s. However, cases of technology resistance are still reported within the healthcare industry. Healthcare professionals seem to perceive the new way of recording patient data as a complex and time-consuming task, and that it adds an “unnecessary” extra burden to their care-giving jobs. While healthcare providers admit to the benefits of EHRs they yet resist to record patient data themselves and tend to hire scribes or nurses to do the job for them.
In the recently published article, Dr. Bahae Samhan and his coauthor conducted a study that tested the user resistance research model in the healthcare setting. The results of testing the model revealed how EHR resistance can be influenced by levels of the perceived value about using the technology. This value can be evaluated based on the switching benefits vs the switching costs of using the technology. Switching costs are affected by levels of self-efficacy, social influence, and the organizational support for the change, while switching benefits are affected by only levels of self-efficacy and social influence.
The study provides possible solutions to health organizations when trying to reduce resistance toward the change to new EHR systems. For example, organization can enhance positive opinions about the change, explain the core benefits of the switch at early stages before the implementation of the EHR system, and they are encouraged to invest in healthcare providers’ development in order to increase their self-efficacy. Additionally, it is crucial to understand what type of support is more suitable for the healthcare providers. Findings show that inappropriate delivery of the support such as long training sessions for healthcare providers after hours may result in more resistance intentions.
These research findings help practitioners better understand resistance in the healthcare context and serve as the first step toward solving problems associated with technology resistance in general.
Samhan, B., & Joshi, K. D. (2019). Switching to Electronic Health Record Systems: A Replication of the User Resistance Model. AIS Transactions on Replication Research, 5(1), 11.