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David Gould


The debate about healthcare reform revolves around a triple aim of improving the health of populations, improving the patient experience, and reducing the cost of care. A major tool discussed in this debate has been the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems to record and guide care delivery. Due to low adoption rates and limited examples of success, the problem was a lack of understanding by healthcare organizations of how the EHR fundamentally changes an organization through the interactions of people, processes, and technology over time. The purpose of this case study was to explore the people, processes, and technology factors that change as a result of an EHR implementation. Complexity theory was used as the lens to evaluate the effects of the EHR on the holistic system of healthcare. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and observations of physicians, nurses, and administrators, as well as document reviews of organizational documents related to the EHR. Data were analyzed using open coding to identify themes and patterns of usage that redesign or restructure institutional resources. The results of this study demonstrated positive changes in the interactions of healthcare providers with increasing collaboration on process changes and reliance on EHR for communication. These findings may positively affect government policy and the organizational approach to adoption and ongoing use of EHRs to create organizational change beyond the implementation of such systems, thus benefiting both health care employees and patients.