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Inform Prim Care. 2010;18(1):31-40.

Implementation of an electronic medical record in family practice: a case study.

Author information

  • 1Québec University Hospital Research Centre, Québec City, Canada and Faculty of Nursing, Laval University, Québec City, Canada. marie-pierre.gagnon@fsi.ulaval.ca



Electronic medical records (EMRs) have the potential to foster a safer, more effective and more efficient healthcare system. However, their implementation in primary care practice remains a challenge.


This study aims at exploring factors that have influenced the successful implementation of an EMR system in a family medicine group (FMG) in the Province of Québec, Canada.


A case study approach was selected to get a deep understanding of the phenomenon in its context. The case was chosen on the basis that it was the first FMG in Québec to implement a full EMR used by all clinicians. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants.


Factors that have influenced the success of the EMR implementation were classified under three broad themes: a project leader who combined the roles of clinical, technology and knowledge champion; an organisation that was open to and supportive of change; and an evidence-based implementation strategy tailored to the local context and adoption pace.


This study underscores the importance of a champion for successful EMR implementation. It proposes a set of roles and characteristics that could be found in a champion as well as other elements for a successful EMR implementation strategy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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