Examining Predictors of Health Information Technology Usage among Early Career Physicians
thesisposted on 25.02.2016 by Christopher Kabir
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The use of Health Information Technology (HIT) is becoming more prevalent in medical care provision throughout the United States and research suggests that the utilization of HIT tools by physicians provide advantages to the patient by improving efficiency, care provision, and ultimately clinical outcomes. As healthcare organizations introduce voluntary new tools in clinical practice settings, understanding the underlying predictors of physician usage remains an important area of research, as high frequency usage is key to technology implementation success. We conducted a study on predictors of HIT use among Early Career Physicians (ECP), defined as medical residents and fellows, using a cross-sectional written survey. The goals of the study were to explore the provider perspective by identifying items of importance to HIT adoption (for outcome variables of general usage and specific tool type usage) and determine how usage varies by other variables such as facilitating conditions and physician characteristics. The sample consisted of 246 physicians at an urban academic hospital in the Midwest region of the United States. All variables were self-reported measures, and dependent variables measured HIT frequency of use through ordinal scales. A general HIT usage composite variable was calculated, with high-frequency use defined as respondents who indicated above the median frequency for three out of four tool types. Factors associated with high use were examined by logistic regression. Facilitating conditions, a multidimensional factor reflecting organizational support for usage of technology, was found to be positively associated with high general HIT usage and high specific tool usage for one of four tool types (mobile health applications); furthermore, the association of usage with facilitating conditions and physician characteristics varied by the general HIT and tool type dependent variable. Models examining relationships between high HIT use, facilitating conditions factor, and additional variables suggest particular topics, such as information and communication technology and data sharing, may be of higher importance to ECPs who are high users of technology and should be considered for inclusion in training and ongoing organizational support.