Reflections on electronic medical records: when doctors will use them and when they will not.

Date Published:

2010 Jan


PURPOSE: Our purpose is to counter the common wisdom that doctors are refractory to change and therefore responsible for the limited use of electronic medical records. METHODS: We draw on experience with electronic medical records in two Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals dating back to the early 1980s. RESULTS: Doctors quickly become ardent users of electronic medical records if the software is sufficiently helpful in the care of their patients. CONCLUSIONS: The key to enthusiastic acceptance of electronic medical records is computing that is easy to use and helpful to doctors, nurses, and other clinicians in the care of their patients.