Investigating barriers to Electronic Medical Record use during collaborative information seeking activities

Arvind Karunakaran*, Young Hee-Nam, Madhu Reddy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Collaborative information seeking (CIS) is an intrinsic part of medical work. Patient care teams increasingly rely upon various systems, such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), to support collaborative information seeking across hierarchical, functional and occupational boundaries of the organization in order to enhance the quality of medical care. However, despite their proven benefits, there still are several challenges to using EMRs for CIS, in specific, and for collaborative work, in general. The objective of this research study, therefore, is to identify some of the barriers associated with using EMRs during CIS activities. We employed qualitative research methods to understand how individuals within patient care teams use EMRs during CIS and what challenges they confront in the process. We conducted this study in the Emergency Department of a 500-bed teaching hospital. We used non-participant observations and semi-structured interviews of patient care team members for collecting our data and for capturing the practices. Through our data analysis, we identified a set of barriers to using EMRs during CIS. These include a) clash of "technological frames", b) lack of collective affordances, c) fear of deviations and d) alert fatigues. From the findings of our study, we highlight implications for designing EMR systems that could augment and facilitate better CIS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIHI'12 - Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Mar 8 2012
Event2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium, IHI'12 - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2012Jan 30 2012


Other2nd ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium, IHI'12
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL


  • Barriers
  • Collaboration
  • Electronic medical records
  • Information seeking
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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