Physician user satisfaction with an electronic medical records system in primary healthcare centres in Al Ain: A qualitative study

Shamma Al Alawi, Aysha Al Dhaheri, Durra Al Baloushi, Mouza Al Dhaheri, Engela A.M. Prinsloo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To explore physician satisfaction with an electronic medical records (EMR) system, to identify and explore the main limitations of the system and finally to submit recommendations to address these limitations.

Design: A descriptive qualitative study that entailed three focus group interviews was performed among physicians using open-ended questions. The interviews were audiotaped, documented and transcribed verbatim. The themes were explored and analysed in different categories.

Setting: The study was conducted in primary healthcare centres (PHC) in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Participants: A total of 23 physicians, all using the same EMR system, attended one of three focus groups held in PHC in Al Ain Medical District. Each focus group consisted of 7-9 physicians working in PHC as family medicine specialists, residents or general practitioners.

Primary outcome measure: Physician satisfaction with the EMR system.

Results: Key themes emerged and were categorised as physician-dependent, patient-related and systemrelated factors. In general, physicians were satisfied with the EMR system in spite of initial difficulties with implementation. Most participants identified that the long time required to do the documentation affected their practice and patient communication. Many physicians expressed satisfaction with the orders and results of laboratory and radiology functions and they emphasised that this was the strongest point in the EMR. They were also satisfied with the electronic prescription function, stating that it reduced errors and saved time.

Conclusions: Physicians are satisfied with the EMR and have a positive perception regarding the application of the system. Several themes emerged during this study that need to be considered to enhance the EMR system. Further studies need to be conducted among other healthcare practitioners and patients to explore their attitude and perception about the EMR.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere005569
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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