e-Health? Clinical information network interest and impediments in a community paediatric setting
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BACKGROUND: Increased interest in implementing evidence-based medicine in paediatric practice has led to the development of a variety of electronic clinical and decision-making support tools. Electronic medical records and information resources have the potential to improve both the clinical and cost effectiveness of paediatric community practice at the point of care. Barriers to the successful implementation of clinical information Intranet resources include physician attitudes, as well as system and practitioner capabilities. OBJECTIVE: To examine Ontario's community care paediatricians' electronic information resource needs and interest in accessing the proposed Central West Ontario Pediatric Information Network (CWPIN). DESIGN: Cross-sectional, interviewer-facilitated, structured survey. POPULATION STUDIED: Paediatricians providing community care in the Central West Ontario Health Region. MAIN RESULTS: Three-quarters of regional community paediatricians responded to the survey. Of those surveyed, 98% expressed interest in gaining access to the CWPIN. Computer literacy, suggested by home computer and Internet use rates (88% and 81%, respectively), did not differ significantly by age or sex. Other factors that may affect network use, such as workplace computer use and allied personnel role assignment, differed by sex, indicating potentially greater CWPIN use among male practitioners. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians reported an overwhelming interest in gaining access to and using the CWPIN. Disparities in current workplace but not home-based computer use by sex indicate that workplace role allocation, rather than computer literacy, may explain sex differences in CWPIN use rates. Attitudinal and computer proficiency issues did not appear to be obstacles to implementing the clinical information Intranet resource in the region.
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