Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) by rural and urban Alabama family medicine physicians.
Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated EMR use among Alabama family medicine physicians (N = 1197).
Results: Half (49.3%) of the physicians surveyed reported using EMR in their practices; however, only 16.3% reported using EMR to its fullest capacity. The majority (49.9%) were categorized as nonusers, whereas basic users comprised 12.4%, moderate users made up 19.7%, and comprehensive users were 16.7% of the total. A physician’s age (P < 0.001) and years of professional practice (P = 0.002) correlate significantly with EMR use. EMR users (mean 48.48, standard deviation [SD] 9.93; mean 18.63, SD 10.58) were significantly younger and had been in practice for a shorter time than non-EMR users (mean 52.92, SD 12.01, and mean 22.44, SD 13.04, respectively).
Conclusion: This study allowed for the exploration of the current level of EMR use, the identification of individual user characteristics, and the identification of organizational user characteristics.
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