Healthcare organizations are increasingly implementing electronic medical records (EMRs) and other related health information technology (IT). Even in institutions which have long adopted these computerized systems, there are still instances where employees rely on paper to complete their work. The use of paper suggests that parts of the EMR may not be sufficiently designed to support clinicians and their work processes. To understand the use of paper-based alternatives, we conducted 14 key-informant interviews in a large Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), with a fully implemented EMR. We found nine distinct categories of paper-based workarounds to the use of the EMR. In several cases, paper served as an important tool and assisted healthcare employees in their work. In other cases, paper use circumvented the intended EMR design, introduced potential gaps in documentation, and generated possible paths to medical error. We discuss implications of these findings for EMR design and implementation.