eHealth Research Unit

Completed Projects

We have completed projects in the fields of human factors, remote care, peer education & support, evaluation & utilization and privacy
logo of the eHealth Research Unit (eHRU)

Mitigating patient safety hazards of EMRs

George Klima, PhD, Donald Craig, PhD and Gerard Farrell, MD
The EMR prototype being developed has, as one of its features, a graphical device that allows a physician to gain a sense of a patient's history at a glance.  This can be useful to orient the physician during the beginning of a consultation and can also be useful to re-orient a physician after an interruption. (2010) (poster)

Sustaining Information Technology use by older adults to promote autonomy and independence, Newfoundland and Labrador Cohort

W. Young; S. Bornstein; V. Gadag; G. Farrell; L. Gien; G. Klima; and S. Tomblin 
The project addresses the question of what are the influences shaping the new dynamics of ageing and how can their consequences be managed to achieve the maximum benefits for older people. (since 2010)

Adverse Health Event Management in Newfoundland and Labrador: Avoiding Engineering Error

Gerard Farrell, MD and Karen Murphy, MSc
This submission to the provincial Adverse Events Task Force suggests that consideration of adverse events should be expanded to include the broad spectrum of occurrences, of which adverse events are the most obvious outcome. Further, we propose that the approaches to avoiding and remediating such incidents should include Human Factors practices. See: full submission (2008)

The Effectiveness of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) in Monitoring Palliative Care Patients in the Community. Phase 1

Dr. Gerard Farrell, Dr. Susan MacDonald, Dr. Karen Murphy, Dr. George Klima, Ms. Ann Hollett
The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) was a paper based scale that ranked nine symptoms important in evaluating patients receiving in-patient palliative care. Five years ago, working with Dr. Susan Macdonald, we developed a web-based approach that allowed us to remotely monitor out-patients under palliative care, with one of the outcomes being tailoring interventions to those with need and not those who were doing well. One of the things we learned from that study was that it was difficult for those receiving palliative care to get out of bed, go to a computer and log onto a website to let us know how they were doing (no matter how much they wanted to).
The first phase of this project started in September 2009 and finished in August 2011. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of using an online version of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) as a means of monitoring and assessing symptoms of palliative care patients in the community. Eleven patients participated in the project for varying lengths of time ranging from one month to one year.
This project is funded by a development grant from the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research in the amount of $39,625.
The project was presented as a poster at the Primary Healthcare Partnership Forum in the fall of 2009.A final report for Phase 1 was prepared in May 2012.

Smartphone-enabled collaborative care for adults over 45 living at home with type II diabetes: Cochrane Review Protocol

Wendy Young, PhD; George Klima, PhD; Kenny Hammond, BSc; Gerard Farrell, MD
This presentation describes the protocol for a Cochrane Review of the topic. (since 2009) (Powerpoint presentation)

Newfoundland and Labrador Tele-Oncology Program

A Max House, MD; Kara Laing, MD; Jonathan Greenland, MD
A research and development project that was jointly carried out by the Faculty of Medicine and the Cancer Program of the Eastern Health Authority in co-operation with the three other regional health authorities. It was designed to deliver cancer services throughout the province.  See: project proposal and backgrounder. (2004-2008)

The impact of medical residents' exposure to Electronic Medical Records

Dr. Gerard Farrell, Dr. Karen Murphy, Dr. George Klima, Ms. Ann Hollett
The objective of this project was to determine the impact exposure to EMRs during residency has on the perceptions and attitudes of family medicine residents across Canada towards use of EMRs in their future practices. Approximately 200 family medicine residents were surveyed before, during and after their 2 year residency program using the Technology Readiness Index (Parasuraman, 2000) as well as the Pre-implementation and Post-implementation Surveys (Farrell, Neville, & Caison, 2007).
The final report was prepared and published on the MUN Research Repository in 2012.
This projected was funded by a grant from the Healthcare Foundation in the amount of $8,000.

Reaction to EMR exposure of first year medical students

Dr. Gerard Farrell, Dr. Karen Murphy, Dr. George Klima, Ms. Ann Hollett
This study assessed the technology readiness of a first year medical school class and then exposed them to an EMR. First year medical students at Memorial University were exposed to a fully functioning EMR as part of a class assignment. The assignment was based around a fabricated patient encounter and used an EMR application to create a chart. Reactions to the EMR exposure were noted during a debriefing session. Medical student reaction to the technology was assessed, including perceived ease of use and how such exposure influenced their likelihood to use an EMR in practice in the future. Results indicate that although experienced in the use of computers, first year medical students did not find the EMR easy to use and they indicated a need for formal training in the use of EMRs.
The final report was prepared and published on the MUN Research Repository in 2012.
The project was presented as a poster at the Canadian Continuing Medical Education Conference in 2009.

Medical Student Exposure to Electronic Medical Records: Is First Year Too Early?

Gerard Farrell, MD
EMR's can be introduced to medical students as early as first year and useful information can be collected about their reactions to the technology. See: full report.  (2008)

Clinician eHealth Support Network

Gerard Farrell, MD
Dr Farrell was the Physician Leader that guided the provincial implementation of this national peer-to-peer initiative. Its aim is to facilitate the sharing of e-health experiences among clinicians and their peers and to support the integration of information technology into regular work processes. (2007)

Exploring technology readiness of nursing and medical students at a Canadian University

Amy Caison, EdD; Donna Bulman, PhD; Shweta Pai, BPharm; Doreen Neville, ScD
An exploratory study of the technological readiness of nursing and medical students for the purpose of obtaining baseline data on a cohort.  (Journal of Interprofessional Care, 2008, 22:3, 283 - 294)

An Urban Electronic Medical Record Implementation: An Evaluation of a Pilot Project in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador: Phase 2 Summary Evaluation

George Klima, PhD; Karen Murphy, PhD; Doreen Neville, ScD
User reactions at four pilot sites to Laboratory Interface and Billing modules that had been introduced in Phase II of the implementation of the Wolf EMR system. 

Use of ICT in cancer care services in Canada

AM House, MD; Kara Laing, MD; Jonathan Greenland, MD; Janice Cooper, MSW
A comprehensive national scan to determine the use of Information and Communication Technologies in the delivery of cancer care. This initiative includes a survey of health care professionals and administrators at cancer centres across Canada. See: project overview. (2008); Executive Summary (Full report available upon request)

Teleoncology Program Evaluation

Maria Matthews, PhD; Ann Ryan, MSc; Montgomery Keough, BSc; Sara Heath, BSc
Evaluation of the teleoncology program, collecting key informant interviews and conducting surveys of satisfaction as well as reviewing bookings and participation.  See: executive summary and full report. (2008)

Evaluation of a Pilot EMR Project in St. John’s, NL

Doreen Neville, ScD; Amy Caison, EdD; Gerard Farrell, MD
Assessment of physicians', nurses', and administrative staff's experiences with the implementation of the Wolf Medical Systems' Electronic Medical Record System. See full report. (2007)

Evaluation of the Provincial DI-PACS Program (Digital Imaging: Picture Archiving and Communication System)

Don McDonald, PhD and Doreen Neville, PhD
Evaluation and cost-benefit assessment of the provincial PAC system. (2009)

Evaluation of the provincial telehealth strategy

Doreen Neville, ScD 
Methodologies followed the EHR Evaluation Framework and incorporated indicators that have been identified as important by Health Canada Infoway and by other stakeholders.

Physician knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes towards electronic medical record systems: Newfoundland and Labrador

Sarah Heath, BSc
A survey of physicians in NL to investigating the factors that affect utilization of EMRs. (2006)

Evaluation of the Eastern Regional Occurrence System Enhanced (ROSE) Project

Doreen Neville, ScD and Pam Elliott, MSc
Evaluation of a process that facilitates the identification, monitoring, and analysis of adverse events and incidents that occur during the delivery of services provided by Eastern Health or within its facilities. (2008)

Technology Choices and Privacy Policy in Health Care

Ed Brown, PhD, LLB and Gerard Farrell, MD 
Examination of the interplay between privacy policy and the technology used to implement it. (2007)