Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Med Inform. 2005 Sep;74(9):711-7.

Determinants of physician use of an ambulatory prescription expert system.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800744, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.



To determine whether physician experience with and attitude towards computers is associated with adoption of a voluntary ambulatory prescription writing expert system.


A prescription expert system was implemented in an academic internal medicine residency training clinic and physician utilization was tracked electronically. A physician attitude and behavior survey (response rate=89%) was conducted six months after implementation.


There was wide variability in system adoption and degree of usage, though 72% of physicians reported predominant usage (> or =50% of prescriptions) of the expert system six months after implementation. Self-reported and measured technology usage were strongly correlated (r=0.70, p<0.0001). Variation in use was strongly associated with physician attitude toward issues of system efficiency and effect on quality, but not with prior computer experience, level of training, or satisfaction with their primary care practice. Non-adopters felt that electronic prescribing was more time consuming and also more likely to believe that their patients preferred hand-written prescriptions.


A voluntary electronic prescription system was readily adopted by a majority of physicians who believed it would have a positive impact on the quality and efficiency of care. However, dissatisfaction with system capabilities among both adopters and non-adopters suggests the importance of user education and expectation management following system selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center