Evidence for electronic health record systems in physical therapy

Daniel J. Vreeman, Samuel L. Taggard, Michael D. Rhine, Teddy W. Worrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations


With increasing pressures to better manage clinical information, we investigated the role of electronic health record (EHR) systems in physical therapist practice through a critical review of the literature. We reviewed studies that met our predefined criteria after independent review by 3 authors. The investigators in all of the reviewed studies reported benefits, including improved reporting, operational efficiency, interdepartmental communication, data accuracy, and capability for future research. In 7 studies, the investigators reported barriers, including challenges with behavior modification, equipment inadequacy, and training. The investigators in all studies reported key success factors, including end-user participation, adequate training, workflow analysis, and data standardization. This review suggests that EHRs have potential benefits for physical therapists. The authors formed the following recommendations based on the studies' themes: (1) incorporate workflow analysis into system design and implementation; (2) include end users, especially clinicians, in system development; (3) devote significant resources for training; (4) plan and test carefully to ensure adequate software and hardware performance; and (5) commit to data standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-446
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Computerized medical records systems
  • Medical informatics
  • Medical informatics applications
  • Physical therapy
  • Physical therapy department: Hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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