Implementation of electronic health records in Polish outpatient health care clinics – starting point, progress, problems, and forecasts

Aleksandra Czerw 1  ,  
Adam Fronczak 1,  
Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(2):329–334
The Act on Information System in Health Care, dated 28 April 2011, imposes an obligation to record patients’ medical documentation in an electronic form (EHR – Electronic Health Records) on the providers of health care services, starting from 1 August 2014. On 23 July 2014, an amendment of the Act was enacted, based on which the date of obligatory introduction of health records in paper or electronic form was postponed until 31 July 2017. At various health care entities there are two different methods of creating health records (HR); therefore, the implementation of the provisions of the Act poses a significant number of problems and complications.

The objective of the study is to present the starting point, progress, problems and forecasts regarding the implementation of electronic health records at health care entities which provide services within the scope of specialized outpatient care (SOC).

Material and Methods:
The subjects of this research were 475 health care entities which provide services within the scope of specialized outpatient care (SOC) operating in Poland. The applied research tool was a survey questionnaire. The applied research technology was a Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI). The research was conducted between February – April 2014. The data was analyzed with the chi-squared test of independence.

In the period of the research, 233 health care entities were at the stage of preparation for the implementation of HER: 116 – in the process of implementation; 72 – after implementation, and only 54 were already recording their documentation in an electronic form.

Most health care entities providing specialized outpatient care would not have complied with the provisions of the Act on Information System in Health Care had the deadline for implementation of EHR not been postponed. Five months before the date stipulated in the first version of the Act (August 2014), about 74% of health care entities covered by this study did not yet have a ready EHR system. The study also showed that 2 years is insufficient time for the entire process of informatization of a health care establishment.

Aleksandra Czerw   
Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
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