Introducing Computer-Based Telemedicine in Three Rural Missouri Counties
Kimberly D. Harris (Duquesne University, USA), Joseph F. Donaldson (University of Missouri at Columbia, USA) and James D. Campbell (University of Missouri at Columbia, USA)
Copyright: © 2002
This study investigated predictors of utilization of the computer-based telemedicine in three rural Missouri counties. Participating health care agencies were given computers and access to an Internet-based workstation that provided e-mail and World Wide Web (WWW) services. Utilization data for e-mail messages sent and WWW pages accessed were collected through proxy servers. A survey was distributed to those employees who are enrolled in the Rural Telemedicine Evaluation Project (RTEP), which addressed perceptions of the Internet-based RTEP workstation. The results of the survey were analyzed to see how perceptions and demographic variables predicted actual utilization. The findings of the study revealed that for e-mail, behavioral intentions/attitude, age, organizational support, and time were the most significant predictors. For WWW, only the behavioral intentions/attitude subscale predicted utilization. The majority of respondents did not utilize the e-mail technology. Strategies need to be developed through training interventions and organizational policies to address non-utilization.