Identifier

etd-07132015-112412

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Studies

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This ethnographic research study documented the use and effects of an electronic medical records system (EMR) by healthcare providers working in a community hospital-based emergency room. Using data collected from participant observation, in-depth interviews, questionnaires, and hospital documents, the research findings suggest EMRs impinge providers’ agency, alter emergency room systems, affect communication patterns among providers, and exacerbate structurational divergence (SD) conditions. Findings suggest that providers’ attempts to regain lost agency tips the SD-nexus into an SD-cycle, characterized by negative communication spirals between providers. The discussion chapter examines the impact of EMRs on emergency room structures, system reproduction, providers’ workflow and communication patterns, patients’ experiences, and unintended consequences, and it expounds implications of the study with regard to what lessons learned from this analysis suggests might be best practices for hospitals and emergency rooms adopting EMRs.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Pecchioni, Loretta

Included in

Communication Commons

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