Adoption of electronic health records in Korean tertiary teaching and general hospitals

Dukyong Yoon, Byung Chul Chang, Seong Weon Kang, Hasuk Bae, Rae Woong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined the current prevalence of electronic health records (EHRs) in Korea and identified the factors that impede or facilitate the adoption of EHRs. Methods: We surveyed all tertiary teaching and general hospitals in Korea. The degree to which EHR systems were adopted was evaluated using the previously defined definitions of 'comprehensive' and 'basic' EHRs based on their electronic functionality. The effects of teaching status, size, and location of hospitals on EHR adoption were examined. We also investigated factors that impeded or facilitated the adoption of EHR systems. Results: The response rate was 39.0% (122/313), and 37.2% (95% confidence interval [. CI] 31.9-42.6%) of Korean tertiary teaching and general hospitals had either basic or comprehensive EHR systems (50.2% of tertiary teaching hospitals, 35.0% of general hospitals). However, only 5.0% (CI 2.6-7.4%) had comprehensive EHR systems. Most Korean tertiary teaching and general hospitals, i.e., 87.0% (95% CI, 83.3-90.7%), have implemented computerized provider order-entry (CPOE) systems for medications, with larger hospitals more likely than smaller ones to have adopted some sort of EHRs (p-value<0.001). However, the prevalence of these systems did not differ according to the location of the hospital (metropolitan vs. non-metropolitan). According to the survey data, the capital requirements and high maintenance costs of EHR systems were the major barriers to their adoption, and government reimbursement or incentives were the most requested facilitators of their adoption. Conclusion: The rate at which EHR and CPOE for medications systems have been adopted by Korean tertiary teaching and general hospitals was higher than the rate of adoption by US hospitals. Financial aspects are reported to be the most important facilitators of and barriers to EHR adoption. Government financial support, especially to small hospitals, seems to be essential to promoting the adoption of EHRs by Korean hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-203
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Ashish K. Jha, for allowing us to use the survey form, Dr. Hoon Sang Chi, former president of the Korean Hospital Association for helping the survey form to be delivered to hospitals via fax and Dr. Sujin Kim for reviewing an earlier version of this paper. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (Nos. 2011-0018258 and 2010-0023402 ).


  • Electronic health records
  • Health care surveys
  • Health information technologies


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