Introducing Computer-Based Telemedicine in Three Rural Missouri Counties
Kimberly D. Harris (Duquesne University, USA), Joseph F. Donaldson (University of Missouri-Columbia, USA) and James D. Campbell (University of Missouri-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.