What do Allied Health think about the digital hospital?

Mrs Anne Coccetti1, Ms Maria Schwarz1, Mr Michael Draheim1, Ms Gail Gordon3

1Logan Hospital, Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Meadowbrook, Australia, 2School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 3Redland Hospital and Wynnum Manly Health Service, Queensland Health , Cleveland, 4163

A growing body of literature exists regarding the perceptions of staff (particularly medical officers) in moving towards electronic medical records, however; limited evidence exists regarding the perceptions of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and the barriers and facilitators to this change. As Metro South Hospital and Health service has recently progressed to an integrated medical record (iEMR) this presents a unique opportunity to investigate the perceptions of AHP staff.

A prospective electronic survey was conducted by 104 AHPs across three sites, of various sizes and geographic locations.

On a scale from 0 being anxious to 100 being excited, the average perception during iEMR implementation trended towards excitement (average 59). With responders reporting increased comfort levels following implementation with the average response being 78 (on a scale of 0 – uncomfortable to 100 – comfortable). Only 18% (n= 14) of responders strongly agreed/agreed with the statement that iEMR implementation had increased their stress at work significantly, with 14% strongly agreeing/agreeing that iEMR implementation had resulted in burnout in the workplace. Hindering factors to iEMR implementation were most commonly reported to be opportunity of practice iEMR (39%) or observe a member of one’s own profession conducting iEMR tasks (39%). Overall, 79% of responders were very satisfied/satisfied with iEMR at their site, with improved transparency of care and speed of documentation being the most commonly reported areas in which iEMR met clinician expectation.

Results suggest an overall positive response to iEMR implementation.  Minimal staff reported impacts such as stress or burnout in the workplace related to iEMR implementation and a perception of ‘comfort’ was cited once iEMR was part of usual practice.

The study therefore provides valuable insight into the perception of AHPs to digital innovation, including factors that enabled and hindered implementation.


Maria Schwarz is a clinical speech pathologist in the acute and outpatient setting at Logan Hospital. She has a keen interest in research that is applicable to the workplace and clinical setting and is currently undertaking her PhD at the University of Queensland.

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