What factors influence emergency department staff attitudes towards using information technology?

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Abstract

Objectives

Information technology (IT) has an important role in the emergency department (ED) functioning, but staff attitudes can influence the way IT is used. Qualitative research into the perceptions of the ED staff has identified a variety of individual, environmental and system factors that may influence attitudes towards using IT. The authors aimed to determine which factors predict attitudes towards using IT and which factors are the most influential.

Methods

Findings from a previous qualitative study were used to develop a self-administered questionnaire measuring individual, environmental and system factors, along with staff attitudes towards using IT. The questionnaire was sent to 535 staff working in three English EDs. Simple linear regression was used to examine the relationship between each potential predictor and user attitude, and multiple regression was used to identify the most important predictors.

Results

Completed questionnaires were returned by 362/535 participants (68%). The factors with the strongest positive association with staff attitudes towards using IT were the perceived individual impact of technology (r2=39%, p<0.001), perceived usefulness (r2=7%, p<0.001), perceived ease of use (r2=2%, p=0.006), perceived subjective norms (r2=1%, p=0.013) and computer experience (r2=1%, p=0.034).

Conclusion

The perceived individual impact of technology is the most important factor in determining ED staff attitude towards using IT. The ED staff are more likely to view using IT systems positively if they can see direct individual benefits arising from their use.

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