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What electronic health record implementation issues are unique to rural settings?

What electronic health record implementation issues are unique to rural settings?

There are many barriers unique to electronic health record (EHR) implementation in rural health care settings,1-2 including:

  • Prohibitive cost of many EHR systems/limited access to capital and infrastructure
  • Access to EHR vendor information and technical assistance
  • Suitability of EHR products for rural health care settings
  • Difficulty connecting to or obtaining broadband service
  • Limited health information technology (IT) workforce
  • Difficulty in obtaining community buy-in
  • Limited opportunities for collaboration with other rural health stakeholders
  • Limited buy-in from rural practice/hospital/health center staff with multiple roles and busy schedules

These challenges can be overcome. For information on how you can overcome challenges and mitigate EHR implementation disruptions in rural health care settings, see the table below for related FAQs and rural health information technology (HIT) resources.

Rural EHR Implementation Issue Related Rural HIT Resources
Prohibitive cost of many EHR systems/limited access to capital and infrastructure
Access to EHR vendor information and technical assistance
Suitability of EHR products for rural settings
Difficulty connecting to or obtaining broadband service
Limited information technology (IT) workforce
Difficulty in obtaining community buy-in
Limited opportunities for collaboration with other rural health stakeholders
Limited buy-in from rural practice/hospital/health center staff with multiple roles and busy schedules

Learn more about how real providers successfully implement EHRs in rural settings in these case studies/interviews: