Exploring the perspectives of primary care providers on use of the electronic Patient Reported Outcomes tool to support goal-oriented care: a qualitative study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Digital health technologies can support primary care delivery, but clinical uptake in primary care is limited. This study explores enablers and barriers experienced by primary care providers when adopting new digital health technologies, using the example of the electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) tool; a mobile application and web portal designed to support goal-oriented care. To better understand implementation drivers and barriers primary care providers’ usage behaviours are compared to their perspectives on ePRO utility and fit to support care for patients with complex care needs. Methods This qualitative sub-analysis was part of a larger trial evaluating the use of the ePRO tool in primary care. Qualitative interviews were conducted with providers at the midpoint (i.e. 4.5–6 months after ePRO implementation) and end-point (i.e. 9–12 months after ePRO implementation) of the trial. Interviews explored providers’ experiences and perceptions of integrating the tool within their clinical practice. Interview data were analyzed using a hybrid thematic analysis and guided by the Technology Acceptance Model. Data from thirteen providers from three distinct primary care sites were included in the presented study. Results Three core themes were identified: (1) Perceived usefulness: perceptions of the tool’s alignment with providers’ typical approach to care, impact and value and fit with existing workflows influenced providers’ intention to use the tool and usage behaviour; (2) Behavioural intention: providers had a high or low behavioural intention, and for some, it changed over time; and (3) Improving usage behaviour: enabling external factors and enhancing the tool’s perceived ease of use may improve usage behaviour. Conclusions Multiple refinements/iterations of the ePRO tool (e.g. enhancing the tool’s alignment with provider workflows and functions) may be needed to enhance providers’ usage behaviour, perceived usefulness and behavioural intention. Enabling external factors, such as organizational and IT support, are also necessary to increase providers’ usage behaviour. Lessons from this study advance knowledge of technology implementation in primary care. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov Identified NCT02917954. Registered September 2016, https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02917954


  • Singh, Hardeep
  • Tahsin, Farah
  • Nie, Jason Xin
  • McKinstry, Brian
  • Thavorn, Kednapa
  • Upshur, Ross
  • Harvey, Sarah
  • Wodchis, Walter P
  • Gray, Carolyn Steele

publication date

  • December 29, 2021