Ethnography and the healthcare debate: What a single case study can teach us about the EMR policy

Erik Vinkhuyzen, Luke Plurkowski - PARC, a Xerox company
Gary David - Bentley College

A yearlong video ethnography of a healthcare clinic that transitioned from a paper process to a scanning solution documented how the new technology impacted different constituents. While the scanning solution reduced the retrieving, filing, and processing work for the medical record clerks, it created additional work for providers as the computer-based processes were more complicated and time-consuming. Nor did the scanning technology make the clinic more efficient overall, as the number of patients the clinic could see remained the same. The study provides grounds to assume that the efficiency gains of EMRs espoused in healthcare policy are unlikely to materialize.

© Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference