About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2 (2011), Issue 4, Pages 509-526
Research Article

Barriers Against Adoption of Electronic Health Record in Italy

Stefano Bonacina,1 Sara Marceglia,1,2 and Francesco Pinciroli1,3

1Dipartimento di Bioingegneria, e-healthLAB, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2Centro Clinico per la Neurostimolazione, le Neurotecnologie ed i Disordini del Movimento, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
3Centre for Health Informatics, School of Informatics, City University, London, UK

Received 1 July 2010; Accepted 1 June 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work aims to expose the barriers which work against the satisfactory adoption and utilization of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in Italy. Experts from six operating areas were involved where barriers associated with practical daily use of EHRs might arise. Experts disclosed different barriers in their operating areas: the low interoperability of healthcare system infrastructures in diagnostic services; the lack of systems able to represent complex processes characterized by uncertainties in hospital wards; the unsatisfactory information exchange between heterogeneous healthcare providers in territorial healthcare; the lack of models and guidelines for administration process management; the lack of Health Information engineers who are recognized as professionals in Italian hospitals; the lack of domain vocabularies and ontologies for conceptual integration in clinical communication. Our findings suggest how future solutions must be designed considering the environment of specific areas.