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Investigating the Perceptions of Primary Care Dietitians on the Potential for Information Technology in the Workplace: Qualitative Study.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The primary health care setting is an effective avenue for the management and prevention of chronic diseases. Dietitians working in this setting assist with the management of modifiable risk factors of chronic diseases. However, health care professionals report challenges in providing care in this setting because of time and financial constraints. Information technology offers the potential to improve health care quality, safety, efficiency, and cost-efficiency, but there exists limited understanding of dietitians' application of technology in this setting. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to explore the perceptions of primary care dietitians about using information technology in their workplace. METHODS:We recruited 20 Australian primary care dietitians using purposive and snowball sampling for semistructured telephonic interviews. Interview questions aimed to gain an understanding of dietitians' perceptions about sharing patient outcomes through a national database and the benefits, disadvantages, feasibility, and barriers of using information technology. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed for emerging themes and subthemes. Finally, the technologies used by participants were collated by name and researched for their key attributes. RESULTS:The following 4 distinct themes emerged from the data: information technology improving the efficiency of practice tasks, experiencing barriers to using information technology in practice, information technology enhancing outcomes through education and monitoring, and information technology for sharing information with others. Participants identified several advantages and disadvantages of using technology and expressed willingness to share patient outcomes using a Web-based database. CONCLUSIONS:This study suggests that information technology is perceived to have benefits to dietitians and patients in primary health care. However, to achieve the optimal benefit, support is required to overcome barriers to integrate information technology into practice better. Further development of patient management systems and standardized Web-based data collection systems are needed to support better usage by dietitians.

SUBMITTER: Jones A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6231874 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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