[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy, 10(1)]
While the barriers to electronic medical record (EMR) adoption by physicians are well-known, we have much less knowledge about the broader challenges regarding EMR use faced by primary healthcare (PHC) EMR stakeholders in Canada. Therefore, we conducted interviews (from June 2009 to September 2010) and consultation sessions (in October and November 2009) with these stakeholders, as well as carrying out a research capacity assessment, to identify, describe and prioritize gaps in PHC EMR knowledge and research. Twelve thematic gaps emerged; four were identified as the most important: the need to ascertain the value of EMRs, the need to better understand elements of EMR implementation and adoption, the need to develop innovative data entry and extraction procedures, and a lack of agreement and understanding of data sharing. To advance EMR use, Canada needs to address these gaps; yet, we currently have a lack of research capacity with which to accomplish this.
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