Jacobs RJ, Iqbal H, Rana AM, Rana Z, Kane MN. Predictors of Osteopathic Medical Students’ Readiness to Use Health Information Technology. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2017;117(12):773–781. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2017.149.
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The advent of health information technology (HIT) tools can affect the practice of modern medicine in many ways, ideally by improving quality of care and efficiency and reducing medical errors. Future physicians will play a key role in the successful implementation of HIT. However, osteopathic medical students’ willingness to learn, adopt, and use technology in a health care setting is not well understood.
To understand osteopathic medical students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding HIT and to identify factors that may be related to their readiness to use HIT.
Using a cross-sectional approach, quantitative surveys were collected from students attending a large osteopathic medical school. Multivariate regression modeling was used to determine whether knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and personal characteristics were associated with students’ readiness to use HIT in future clinical practice.
Six hundred four students responded to at least 70% of the survey and were included in the analysis. Multivariate modeling successfully explained the 26% of variance in predicting students’ readiness to use HIT (F8,506=22.6, P<.001, R2=0.263). Greater self-efficacy, openness to change (in academic/work settings), favorable attitudes toward HIT use, mobile technology use, younger age, being male, and prior exposure to technology were associated with readiness to use HIT.
Understanding students’ level of HIT readiness may help guide medical education intervention efforts to better prepare future osteopathic physicians for HIT engagement and use. Innovative approaches to HIT education in medical school curricula that include biomedical informatics may be necessary.
a The number of respondents for each item does not total 604 because of missing responses.
Abbreviation: IT, information technology.
a Mean (SD) represents the mean score for any item on a scale. For the Techonology Readiness Index, mobile health technologies, flexibility and perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use scales, higher scores indicate more positive attitudes, responses, and knowledge for the given scale. For the new computer applications scale, a lower score indicates greater self-efficacy.
b Range indicates the Likert-type scale score range for each item of the scale.
Abbreviations: HIT, health information technology; IT, information technology.
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