Barriers and Facilitators to eHealth Use in Daily Practice: Perspectives of Patients and Professionals in Dermatology.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The number of eHealth interventions in the management of chronic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) is growing. Despite promising results, the implementation and use of these interventions is limited. OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to assess opinions of the most important stakeholders influencing the implementation and use of eHealth services in daily dermatology practice. METHODS:The perspectives of health care professionals and patients towards the implementation and use of eHealth services in daily practice were assessed by using a mixed method design. A cross-sectional survey based on the eHealth implementation toolkit (eHit) was conducted to explore factors influencing the adoption of eHealth interventions offering the possibility of e-consultations, Web-based monitoring, and Web-based self-management training among dermatologists and dermatology nurses. The perspectives of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) regarding the use of eHealth services were discussed in an online focus group. RESULTS:Health care professionals (n=99) and patients (n=9) acknowledged the value of eHealth services and were willing to use these digital tools in daily dermatology practice. Key identified barriers (statements with <50% of the participants scoring totally agree or agree) in the implementation and adoption of eHealth interventions included concerns about the availability (12/99, 12%) and allocation (14/99, 14%) of resources, financial aspects (26/99, 26%), reliability, security, and confidentially of the intervention itself (29/99, 29%), and the lack of education and training (6/99, 6%). CONCLUSIONS:Health care professionals and patients acknowledge the benefits arising from the implementation and use of eHealth services in daily dermatology practice. However, some important barriers were identified that might be useful in addressing the implementation strategy in order to enhance the implementation success of eHealth interventions in dermatology.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Children's participation in health care is one of the most important components in the management of their disease. Electronic health (eHealth) services that are adapted to the needs of children have the potential for restructuring how children and professionals work together. Therefore, a digital interactive assessment and communication tool, Sisom, was developed to give children aged between 6 and 12 years a voice in their own health care. However, the implementation of eHealth services such as Sisom in daily practice in pediatric health care is rarely investigated.<h4>Objective</h4>The aim of this study was to explore the process of implementing Sisom for children in pediatric care in Sweden. More specifically, the study aimed to (1) evaluate whether the implementation strategy was conducted as planned, (2) understand the barriers and facilitators of the implementation strategy in pediatric care settings, (3) gain insight into how professionals work with the specific intervention, and (4) gain insight into the usefulness and effects of the intervention from the professionals' perspectives.<h4>Methods</h4>A process evaluation design was used to study the implementation of Sisom at 4 pediatric care centers in Sweden. An extensive amount of qualitative and quantitative data was collected before, during, and after the intervention through self-report checklists, memos, and interviews with professionals. In total, 46 children, aged between 6 and 13 years, participated. The children used Sisom on two occasions during 6 months. When they used Sisom, a printed report formed the basis for a forthcoming dialogue between professionals, children, and their parents.<h4>Results</h4>To our knowledge, this is the first implementation study of an eHealth communication tool aimed at strengthening children's participation in pediatric health care. Key factors for successful implementation were alignment of the solution with the values and goals of the organization, health care professionals' beliefs in the usefulness and usability of the solution, and health care professionals' willingness to change their professional roles guided by the solution.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results from the study show that it is possible to restructure health care delivery toward a child-centered approach, if there is a willingness and preparedness in the organization to implement an eHealth solution with the aim of restructuring the way of working with children's participation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Electronic health (eHealth) solutions are considered to relieve current and future pressure on the sustainability of primary health care systems. However, evidence of the effectiveness of eHealth in daily practice is missing. Furthermore, eHealth solutions are often not implemented structurally after a pilot phase, even if successful during this phase. Although many studies on barriers and facilitators were published in recent years, eHealth implementation still progresses only slowly. To further unravel the slow implementation process in primary health care and accelerate the implementation of eHealth, a 3-year Living Lab project was set up. In the Living Lab, called eLabEL, patients, health care professionals, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and research institutes collaborated to select and integrate fully mature eHealth technologies for implementation in primary health care. Seven primary health care centers, 10 SMEs, and 4 research institutes participated. OBJECTIVE:This viewpoint paper aims to show the process of adoption of eHealth in primary care from the perspective of different stakeholders in a qualitative way. We provide a real-world view on how such a process occurs, including successes and failures related to the different perspectives. METHODS:Reflective and process-based notes from all meetings of the project partners, interview data, and data of focus groups were analyzed systematically using four theoretical models to study the adoption of eHealth in primary care. RESULTS:The results showed that large-scale implementation of eHealth depends on the efforts of and interaction and collaboration among 4 groups of stakeholders: patients, health care professionals, SMEs, and those responsible for health care policy (health care insurers and policy makers). These stakeholders are all acting within their own contexts and with their own values and expectations. We experienced that patients reported expected benefits regarding the use of eHealth for self-management purposes, and health care professionals stressed the potential benefits of eHealth and were interested in using eHealth to distinguish themselves from other care organizations. In addition, eHealth entrepreneurs valued the collaboration among SMEs as they were not big enough to enter the health care market on their own and valued the collaboration with research institutes. Furthermore, health care insurers and policy makers shared the ambition and need for the development and implementation of an integrated eHealth infrastructure. CONCLUSIONS:For optimal and sustainable use of eHealth, patients should be actively involved, primary health care professionals need to be reinforced in their management, entrepreneurs should work closely with health care professionals and patients, and the government needs to focus on new health care models stimulating innovations. Only when all these parties act together, starting in local communities with a small range of eHealth tools, the potential of eHealth will be enforced.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Electronic health (eHealth) may improve health outcomes, but many people remain digitally excluded. Personal readiness to use the internet for health may be limited by lack of internet infrastructure, personal skills, social support, service provision, and cost. The impact of interventions to reduce these barriers is unknown. From 2011, the British Government supported the implementation of "superfast" broadband (Superfast) across the rural county of Cornwall. This provided the opportunity to assess the impact of interventions at regional, practice, and household levels. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to assess the impact of 3 interventions on personal eHealth readiness: (1) regional-level implementation of Superfast, (2) practice-level discussions with general practitioners to encourage greater internet use in health service provision, and (3) household-level tailored booklets providing information to help improve personal skills in eHealth. METHODS:This was a cluster quasi-randomized factorial controlled trial. Implementation of Superfast was monitored, and postcodes were classified as having early or late availability. An algorithm selected 78 from 16,385 eligible postcodes to minimize the possibility of overlap between general practices and ensure a balance of urban and rural areas; 1388 households were randomly selected from the 78 postcodes and allocated to the 8 (2 × 2 × 2) study arms. A modified version of the Personal eHealth Readiness Questionnaire was used to compare scores (0 to 10) and 4 components (personal, provision, support, and economic) from baseline (August 2013) to the 18-month follow-up between the 8 arms, to assess the impact of interventions. We compared SDs of scores to assess changes in eHealth inequalities. RESULTS:eHealth readiness improved over 18 months from 4.36 out of 10 to 4.59 out of 10 (t235=4.18; P<.001; CI=0.13 to 0.35), resulting from increases in personal and provision components of the score (t255=3.191; P=.002 and t258=3.410; P=.001). However, there were no significant differences between the 3 interventions, either singly or in combination using intention-to-treat analysis. The proportion of internet users did not significantly increase (79.2%, 205/259 to 81.5%, 211/259) and mobile use was significantly greater (50.5%, 101/199 to 64.8%, 129/199). There was no change in eHealth inequality. CONCLUSIONS:People in Cornwall became more ready to adopt eHealth services, increasing both their personal ability to use eHealth and their methods of access. The implementation of Superfast may have contributed to this; we are certain that our other 2 interventions did not. This increased eHealth readiness did not cause a larger digital divide. The study illustrates the complexity of conducting a randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of interventions at regional, practice, and household levels. Our method may be of use to others. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00102401; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02355808 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/75oEz0E1x).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Digitalization is a disruptive technology that changes the way we deliver diagnostic procedures and treatments in medicine. Different stakeholders have varying interests in and expectations of the digitalization of modern medicine. Many recent digital advances in the medical field, such as the implementation of electronic health records, telemedical services, and mobile health apps, are increasingly used by medical professionals and patients. During the current pandemic outbreak of a novel coronavirus-caused respiratory disease (COVID-19), many modern information and communication technologies (ICT) have been used to overcome the physical barriers and limitations caused by government-issued curfews and workforce shortages. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the usage of modern ICT in medicine. At the same time, the eHealth literacy of physicians working with these technologies has probably not improved since our study. OBJECTIVE:This paper describes a representative cohort of German physicians before the COVID-19 pandemic and their eHealth literacy and attitude towards modern ICT. METHODS:A structured, self-developed questionnaire about user behavior and attitudes towards eHealth applications was administered to a representative cohort of 93 German physicians. RESULTS:Of the 93 German physicians who participated in the study, 97% (90/93) use a mobile phone. Medical apps are used by 42% (39/93). Half of the surveyed physicians (47/93, 50%) use their private mobile phones for official purposes on a daily basis. Telemedicine is part of the daily routine for more than one-third (31/93, 33%) of all participants. More than 80% (76/93, 82%) of the trial participants state that their knowledge regarding the legal aspects and data safety of medical apps and cloud computing is insufficient. CONCLUSIONS:Modern ICT is frequently used and mostly welcomed by German physicians. However, there is a tremendous lack of eHealth literacy and knowledge about the safe and secure implementation of these technologies in routine clinical practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Effective leadership and change management are thought to contribute to the successful implementation of health information technology innovations. However, limited attention has been paid to the role of frontline leaders in building health professional support for new technical innovations. OBJECTIVE:First, we examined whether frontline leaders' positive expectations of a patient portal and perceptions of its implementation were associated with their support for the portal. Second, we explored whether leaders' positive perceptions influenced the same unit's health professional support for the portal. METHODS:Data were collected through an online survey of 2067 health professionals and 401 frontline leaders working in 44 units from 14 health organizations in Finland. The participating organizations run a joint self-care and digital value services project developing a new patient portal for self-management. The survey was conducted before the piloting and implementation of the patient portal. RESULTS:The frontline leaders' perception of vision clarity had the strongest association with their own support for the portal (ß=.40, P<.001). Results also showed an association between leaders' view of organizational readiness and their support (ß=.15, P=.04). The leaders' positive perceptions of the quality of informing about the patient portal was associated with both leaders' own (ß=.16, P=.02) and subordinate health professionals' support for the portal (ß=.08, P<.001). Furthermore, professional participation in the planning of the portal was positively associated with their support (ß=.57, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that assuring good informing, communicating a clear vision to frontline leaders, and acknowledging organizational readiness for change can increase health professional support for electronic health (eHealth) services in the pre-implementation phase. Results highlight the role of frontline leaders in engaging professionals in the planning and implementation of eHealth services and in building health professionals' positive attitudes toward the implementation of eHealth services.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is growing evidence of the positive effects of electronic health (eHealth) interventions for patients with chronic illness, but implementation of such interventions into practice is challenging. Implementation strategies that potentially impact implementation outcomes and implementation success have been identified. Which strategies are actually used in the implementation of eHealth interventions for patients with chronic illness and which ones are the most effective is unclear. OBJECTIVE:This systematic realist review aimed to summarize evidence from empirical studies regarding (1) which implementation strategies are used when implementing eHealth interventions for patients with chronic illnesses living at home, (2) implementation outcomes, and (3) the relationship between implementation strategies, implementation outcomes, and degree of implementation success. METHODS:A systematic literature search was performed in the electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Scopus, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane Library. Studies were included if they described implementation strategies used to support the integration of eHealth interventions into practice. Implementation strategies were categorized according to 9 categories defined by the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change project: (1) engage consumers, (2) use evaluative and iterative strategies, (3) change infrastructure, (4) adapt and tailor to the context, (5) develop stakeholder interrelationships, (6) use financial strategies, (7) support clinicians, (8) provide interactive assistance, and (9) train and educate stakeholders. Implementation outcomes were extracted according to the implementation outcome framework by Proctor and colleagues: (1) acceptability, (2) adoption, (3) appropriateness, (4) cost, (5) feasibility, (6) fidelity, (7) penetration, and (8) sustainability. Implementation success was extracted according to the study authors' own evaluation of implementation success in relation to the used implementation strategies. RESULTS:The implementation strategies management support and engagement, internal and external facilitation, training, and audit and feedback were directly related to implementation success in several studies. No clear relationship was found between the number of implementation strategies used and implementation success. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first review examining implementation strategies, implementation outcomes, and implementation success of studies reporting the implementation of eHealth programs for patients with chronic illnesses living at home. The review indicates that internal and external facilitation, audit and feedback, management support, and training of clinicians are of importance for eHealth implementation. The review also points to the lack of eHealth studies that report implementation strategies in a comprehensive way and highlights the need to design robust studies focusing on implementation strategies in the future. TRIAL REGISTRATION:PROSPERO CRD42018085539; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=85539.
Project description:(1) Background: It has been shown that online interventions can be enhanced by providing additional support; accordingly, we developed an implementation plan for the use of an eHealth intervention targeting physical activity and healthy nutrition in collaboration with general practitioners (GPs). In this study, GPs and patients evaluated the actual implementation; (2) Methods: Two hundred and thirty two patients completed the feasibility questionnaire regarding the implementation of "MyPlan 1.0" in general practice. Individual interviews were conducted with 15 GPs who implemented "MyPlan 1.0" into their daily work flow; (3) Results: The majority of the patients indicated that general practice was an appropriate setting to implement the online intervention. However, patients were not personally addressed by GPs and advice/action plans were not discussed with the GPs. The GPs indicated that this problem was caused by the severe time restrictions in general practice. GPs also seemed to select those patients who they believed to be able to use (e.g., highly educated patients) and to benefit from the intervention (e.g., patients with overweight); (4) Conclusions: Although GPs were involved in the development of the online intervention and its implementation plan, the programme was not used in general practice as intended.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Value is one of the central concepts in health care, but it is vague within the field of summative eHealth evaluations. Moreover, the role of context in explaining the value is underexplored, and there is no explicit framework guiding the evaluation of the value of eHealth interventions. Hence, different studies conceptualize and operationalize value in different ways, ranging from measuring outcomes such as clinical efficacy or behavior change of patients or professionals to measuring the perceptions of various stakeholders or in economic terms. OBJECTIVE:The objective of our study is to identify contextual factors that determine similarities and differences in the value of an eHealth intervention between two contexts. We also aim to reflect on and contribute to the discussion about the specification, assessment, and relativity of the "value" concept in the evaluation of eHealth interventions. METHODS:The study concerned a 6-month eHealth intervention targeted at elderly patients (n=107) diagnosed with cognitive impairment in Italy and Sweden. The intervention introduced a case manager role and an eHealth platform to provide remote monitoring and coaching services to the patients. A model for evaluating the value of eHealth interventions was designed as monetary and nonmonetary benefits and sacrifices, based on the value conceptualizations in eHealth and marketing literature. The data was collected using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the clock drawing test, and the 5-level EQ-5D (EQ-5D-5L). Semistructured interviews were conducted with patients and health care professionals. Monetary data was collected from the health care and technology providers. RESULTS:The value of an eHealth intervention applied to similar types of populations but differed in different contexts. In Sweden, patients improved cognitive performance (MMSE mean 0.85, SD 1.62, P<.001), reduced anxiety (EQ-5D-5L mean 0.16, SD 0.54, P=.046), perceived their health better (EQ-5D-5L VAS scale mean 2.6, SD 9.7, P=.035), and both patients and health care professionals were satisfied with the care. However, the Swedish service model demonstrated an increased cost, higher workload for health care professionals, and the intervention was not cost-efficient. In Italy, the patients were satisfied with the care received, and the health care professionals felt empowered and had an acceptable workload. Moreover, the intervention was cost-effective. However, clinical efficacy and quality of life improvements have not been observed. We identified 6 factors that influence the value of eHealth intervention in a particular context: (1) service delivery design of the intervention (process of delivery), (2) organizational setup of the intervention (ie, organizational structure and professionals involved), (3) cost of different treatments, (4) hourly rates of staff for delivering the intervention, (5) lifestyle habits of the population (eg, how physically active they were in their daily life and if they were living alone or with family), and (6) local preferences on the quality of patient care. CONCLUSIONS:Value in the assessments of eHealth interventions need to be considered beyond economic terms, perceptions, or behavior changes. To obtain a holistic view of the value created, it needs to be operationalized into monetary and nonmonetary outcomes, categorizing these into benefits and sacrifices.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite their potential benefits, many electronic health (eHealth) innovations evaluated in major studies fail to integrate into organizational routines, and the implementation of these innovations remains problematic. OBJECTIVE:The purpose of this study was to describe health care professionals' self-identified perceived barriers and facilitators for the implementation of a Web-based portal to monitor asthmatic children as a substitution for routine outpatient care. Also, we assessed patients' (or their parents) satisfaction with this eHealth innovation. METHODS:Between April and November 2015, we recruited 76 health care professionals (from 14 hospitals). During a period of 6 months, participants received 3 questionnaires to identify factors that facilitated or impeded the use of this eHealth innovation. Questionnaires for patients (or parents) were completed after the 6-month virtual asthma clinic (VAC) implementation period. RESULTS:Major perceived barriers included concerns about the lack of structural financial reimbursement for Web-based monitoring, lack of integration of this eHealth innovation with electronic medical records, the burden of Web-based portal use on clinician workload, and altered patient-professional relationship (due to fewer face-to-face contacts). Major perceived facilitators included enthusiastic and active initiators, a positive attitude of professionals toward eHealth, the possibility to tailor care to individual patients ("personalized eHealth"), easily deliverable care according to current guidelines using the VAC, and long-term profit and efficiency. CONCLUSIONS:The implementation of Web-based disease monitoring and management in children is complex and dynamic and is influenced by multiple factors at the levels of the innovation itself, individual professionals, patients, social context, organizational context, and economic and political context. Understanding and defining the barriers and facilitators that influence the context is crucial for the successful implementation and sustainability of eHealth innovations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Very few evidence-based electronic health (eHealth) interventions for caregivers of people with dementia are implemented into practice. As part of a cross-border collaboration focusing on dementia and depression in older people, two eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia ("Myinlife" and "Partner in Balance") were adopted by nine municipalities in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to (1) identify determinants for the implementation of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia in a municipality context and (2) formulate implementation strategies for these interventions. METHODS:Eight municipality officials were interviewed using open-ended, semistructured interviews about their background, thoughts on the implementation of the intervention, recommended strategies, and thoughts on eHealth in general. One additional municipality discontinued the implementation project and submitted answers to the interview questions via email. The interviews were transcribed and independently analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS:The interviews provided information on the perspectives of municipality officials on implementing eHealth for caregivers of people with dementia in their local communities. Key findings from the inductive thematic analysis included the importance of face-to-face interviews in developing tailor-made implementation plans, the need for regular meetings, the enthusiasm of municipality officials to implement these interventions, the need for long-term sustainability planning through collecting data on the required resources and benefits, and the effect of name brand recognition in adoption. CONCLUSIONS:The findings contribute toward filling the previously identified gap in the literature on the implementation context of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. Municipality officials' views indicated which implementation determinants they expected would influence the adoption, dissemination, and future implementation of eHealth interventions for caregivers of people with dementia in a municipal context. These insights were applied to tailored implementation strategies to facilitate the future implementation of interventions such as Myinlife and Partner in Balance.