Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Sciences - (Ph.D.)

Department

College of Computing Sciences

First Advisor

Fadi P. Deek

Second Advisor

Brian Whitworth

Third Advisor

George Robert Widmeyer

Fourth Advisor

Albert W. Jekelis

Fifth Advisor

Sonja Wiley-Patton

Abstract

Implementation of information systems has lagged in many areas of clinical healthcare for a variety of reasons. Economics, data complexity and resistance are among the often quoted roadblocks. Research suggests that physicians play a major part in the adoption, use and diffusion of information technology (IT) in clinical settings. There are also other healthcare professionals, clinical and non-clinical, who play important roles in making decisions about the acquisition of information technology. In addition to these groups there are information technology professionals providing the services required within the healthcare field. Finally within this group are those IT professionals who have sufficient cross training to understand specific needs. Each member of these groups brings a different perspective to both needs assessments as well as implementation of clinical systems. This study considers the idea that there are preconceived differences of opinion of the information needs of clinical healthcare by the clinical community and the information technology professionals. Are these differences significant enough to create a barrier to implementation?

A questionnaire was developed from preliminary data to assess multiple parameters which could impact implementation of a clinical information technology solution. A Web of System Performance (WOSP) model was created to map each of the following eight areas of concern: functionality, usability, extendibility, connectivity, flexibility, reliability, privacy and security. Responses to the questions were related to professional roles, age and experience.

There were no differences seen in the perceived need for secure systems by either healthcare workers or IT professionals. The variance of perceived need was greatest among the various non-physician healthcare workers when compared to physicians or information technology professions. This was a consistent pattern for the otherparameters with the exception of the usability of the electronic health record. In this area all groups disagreed significantly. The study, though limited by its small sample, still suggests that the resistance by healthcare professionals is not a significant barrier to successful information technology implementation.

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