Best Evidence Medical and Health Professional Education

A review of the literature regarding the effectiveness of interventions to promote successful adoption of electronic health records in healthcare professionals


Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have the potential to increase the quality of care and to reduce healthcare costs. Governments in many countries have stimulated the adoption of EHRs as part of healthcare reform policies. However, the general availability of EHRs has not resulted in better quality of care or a reduction in costs. There is widespread consensus that the inability of healthcare professionals to use EHRs in a meaningful way is an important factor that precludes the realization of the full potential of EHRs. Meaningful use is defined as EHR use that contributes to achieve significant improvements in quality of care.

Many studies show that healthcare providers need training to use EHRs in a meaningful way. Healthcare educators have the important task to address this need by designing and providing evidence based educational interventions to improve meaningful use. However, the design of evidence based interventions is hindered by the scarce literature.

In a systematic review we identified, summarized and synthesized all existing evidence regarding the efficacy of different educational interventions to improve meaningful use of EHRs. Results suggest that classroom training, personal guidance and feedback are effective interventions to improve meaningful use.

We conclude that governments, hospitals and other policymakers will not receive full return on their investments in EHRs if they fail to invest equally in educational research to develop effective educational programs that improve meaningful use of EHRs by healthcare professionals.


Review Group


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