BACKGROUND: Healthcare IT (HIT) increasingly gains public attention and clinical daily relevance. A growing number of patients and physicians increasingly relies on IT services to monitor and support well-being and recovery both in their private and professional environment. This is assumed to develop rapidly in the upcoming years.
OBJECTIVE: This study examines the current status of HIT, its use and penetration among physicians in hospitals and researches utilization as well as future expectations regarding HIT.
METHODS: Physicians in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were addressed via e-mail to answer a standardized Internet-based questionnaire consisting of 17 multiple-choice and 3 open text questions. Parameters were evaluated in 5 categories: general use, frequency, acceptance, IT needs and future expectations.
RESULTS: An overall 234 physicians (response rate 83.6%) with a median age of 45 (range 25-60) responded and filled out the entire online questionnaire. A significant correlation between parameters gender, age and level of training (resident, specialist, consultant etc.) was proven. The professional, medical employment of technology shows a strong correlation with age as well as level of training. Whereas increasing age among physicians is associated with a decreasing level of application of HIT, a higher training level is accompanied by an increasing level of professional application of IT services and tools within the healthcare context. Routine employment of HIT is regarded as a necessary and positive standard. Most users assume the importance of HIT to strongly grow in the future in comparison to current use. A clear lack of trust towards data security and storage is recognized on both patient and physician sides. Needs are currently satisfied by employing privately acquired IT in the professional setup rather than the hospitals'. Future expectations from HIT show a clear demand for interoperability and exchangeability of data.
CONCLUSIONS: The results display a clear gap between demand and expectations of IT for medical purposes. The rate of use of HIT applications generally correlates with age, gender as well as role within the hospital and type of employment within the healthcare sector. The current offering does not satisfy the needs of healthcare professionals.
- Delivery of Health Care/methods
- Health Services Needs and Demand
- Medical Informatics/methods
- Middle Aged
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Health monitoring
- Data storage
- Healthcare IT
- Information technology