The attitudes and beliefs of primary health care physicians toward electronic medical records : the impact of using electronic medical records on the care of patients seen in a diabetes mini-clinic in the United Arab Emirates
Many studies have been conducted in the USA and Europe to explore the attitudes and beliefs of physicians toward the use of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems and to examine the impact of using EMR in the management of diabetes mellitus. However, no such study has been conducted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study was designed to fill this gap. The study consists of two parts. The first examines the Primary Health care (PHC) physicians’ attitudes and beliefs towards the implementation of EMR and the second, examines the impact of EMR on the management of diabetes in a diabetes mini-clinic in a PHC health centre. The overall finding was that non-users of EMR had higher expectations of what computers could achieve than did users. The majority of EMR users and non-users believed that (1) physicians should computerise their medical records; (2) EMR were a useful tool for physicians; and (3) using EMR will improve the quality of healthcare in the health centre and in the UAE overall. A significantly higher proportion of non-users than EMR users believed that using EMR would enable them to accomplish tasks more quickly and reduce their risk of making medical errors. The intervention part of the study found that the introduction of an EMR system has significantly improved documentation and the performance of processes of care for diabetic patients. However, its impact on outcomes was limited. A significant improvement in the proportion of patients with blood pressure <140/80 mm Hg and a significant reduction in the proportion of patients with blood pressure >160/95 mm Hg was found. An improvement in the proportion of patients with LDL-C<100 mg/dl was also found. The limitations of the study should be considered before generalising these results.