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Clinician Style and Examination Room Computers: A Video Ethnography

This document explores how family physicians incorporate the use of ERCs in their interactions with patients.

This qualitative study involved five family physicians, one family nurse practitioner, and a convenience sample of 29 patients. Results showed three distinct practice styles that shaped the use of the ERC: informational, interpersonal, and managerial styles.

  • Clinicians with an informational style are guided by their attention to gathering data as prompted by the computer screen.
  • Clinicians with an interpersonal style focus their attention and body language on patients.
  • Clinicians with a managerial style bridge informational and interpersonal styles by alternating their attention in defined intervals between patients and the computer.

ERC use may emphasize skills or deficits in ways that affect physician communication with patients.

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