Assessing tech readiness of nurses can help spur EHR use, acceptance

Certain personality traits can indicate which nurses are more accepting of and ready to use electronic health records, according to a new study published in BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making.

The use of EHRs--particularly mobile EHRs--has great potential to improve patient care and reduce nurses' burdens, but only if the nurses use them, according to the researchers. The study, conducted in a large hospital in Taiwan, evaluated a questionnaire completed by 665 nurses to determine a "Technology Readiness Index."

The researchers determined that different personality traits have an impact on perceived ease of use and usefulness of mobile EHRs. Four personality traits in particular--optimist, innovative, secure, and uncomfortable with technology--all had a "significant impact" on their acceptance of the technology. However, the results varied.

Nurses who were optimistic were more likely to see mobile EHRs as useful and easy to use. Nurses who were innovative perceived the EHRs as being easy to use, but not necessarily useful. Those who were insecure or who exhibited discomfort with technology had a negative view toward the EHR.

The study's authors suggested that assessing nurses' personalities and views toward technology would help hospitals better understand their staff's acceptance levels and potentially reduce their discomfort with such systems.

"In particular, hospitals should inform nurses that adopting technologies will not change their work habits dramatically," the study's authors said.

Clinicians have long expressed dissatisfaction with the usability of EHRs, complaining that it impedes workflow and creates unexpected burdens.

To learn more:
- access the study