Interact J Med Res. 2023 Oct 25;12:e49973. doi: 10.2196/49973.
BACKGROUND: Electronic health records and IT infrastructure in primary care allow for digital documentation and access to information, which can be used to guide evidence-based care and monitor patient safety and quality of care. Quality indicators specified by regulatory authorities can be automatically computed and presented to primary care staff. However, the implementation of digital information systems (DIS) in health care can be challenging, and understanding factors such as relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability is needed to improve the success and rate of adoption and diffusion.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to explore how DIS are used and perceived by health care professionals in primary care.
METHODS: This study used quantitative assessment to gather survey data on the use and potential of DIS in health care in Sweden from the perspectives of primary care personnel in various roles. The digital questionnaire was designed to be short and contained 3 sections covering respondent characteristics, current use of platforms, and perceptions of decision support tools. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, nonparametric hypothesis testing, ordinal coefficient α, and confirmatory factor analysis.
RESULTS: The study collected responses from participants across 10 regions of Sweden, comprising 31.9% (n=22) from private clinics and 68.1% (n=47) from public clinics. Participants included administrators (18/69, 26.1%), a medical strategist (1/69, 1.4%), and physicians (50/69, 72.5%). Usage frequency varied as follows: 11.6% (n=8) used DIS weekly, 24.6% (n=17) monthly, 27.5% (n=19) a few times a year, 26.1% (n=18) very rarely, and 10.1% (n=7) lacked access. Administrators used DIS more frequently than physicians (P=.005). DIS use centered on quality improvement and identifying high-risk patients, with differences by role. Physicians were more inclined to use DIS out of curiosity (P=.01). Participants desired DIS for patient follow-up, lifestyle guidance, treatment suggestions, reminders, and shared decision-making. Administrators favored predictive analysis (P<.001), while physicians resisted immediate patient identification (P=.03). The 5 innovation attributes showed high internal consistency (α>.7). These factors explained 78.5% of questionnaire variance, relating to complexity, competitive advantage, compatibility, trialability, and observability. Factors 2, 3, and 4 predicted intention to use DIS, with factor 2 alone achieving the best accuracy (root-mean-square=0.513).
CONCLUSIONS: Administrators and physicians exhibited role-based DIS use patterns highlighting the need for tailored approaches to promote DIS adoption. The study reveals a link between positive perceptions and intention to use DIS, emphasizing the significance of considering all factors for successful health care integration. The results suggest various directions for future studies. These include refining the trialability and observability questions for increased reliability and validity, investigating a larger sample with more specific target groups to improve generalization, and exploring the relevance of different groups’ perspectives and needs in relation to decisions about and use of DIS.