Health information technology systems profoundly impact users: A case study in a dental school

Heather K. Hill, Denice C.L. Stewart, Joan S. Ash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of the impact of Health Information Technology Systems (HITS) on dental school users when the systems are integrated into chair-side patient care. We used qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, and observations, to capture the experiences of HITS users at a single institution. Users included administrators, clinical faculty members, predoctoral students, support staff, and residents. The data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach, and nine themes emerged: 1) HITS benefits were disproportionate among users; 2) communicating about the HITS was challenging; 3) users experienced a range of strong emotions; 4) the instructor persona diminished; 5) there were shifts in the school's power structure; 6) allocation of end-users' time shifted; 7) the training and support needs of end-users were significant; 8) perceived lack of HITS usability made documentation cumbersome for clinicians; and 9) clinicians' workflow was disrupted. HITS integration into patient care impacts the work of all system users, especially end-users. The themes highlight areas of potential concern for implementers and users in integrating a HITS into patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Attitude to computers
  • Computers
  • Dental education
  • Dental informatics
  • Dental schools
  • Dentistry
  • Dentists
  • Ethnographic studies
  • Information systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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