Pre-implementation investigation of the readiness of allied health professionals to adopt electronic health records
There has been limited uptake of electronic health records (EHR) by allied health professionals. Yet, not much attention has been given to their information needs. For EHR to work for these health professionals, it is essential to understand their current practice of information management and their perceptions towards EHR. A qualitative interview study was thus conducted with four managers in four allied health practices in Sydney to understand their perceptions for the adoption and use of a new Australian e-health standards compliant EHR system. We found that these allied health professionals were highly confident with the use of electronic information system and were enthusiastically expecting the introduction of the EHR system to support their information management and practice. A number of issues related to the use of EHR in practice for small, independent allied health practices were also discussed. It appears that allied health professionals today are information technology (IT) savvy and ready to adopt EHR. EHR for allied health practices in Australia are long overdue. The health informatics community can no longer ignore the need and want of allied health professionals for EHR that are tailored and built to support their information and practice management.