Preparedness for electronic health records in Macedonia

PhD student: Tomislav Dimitrovski

Research on e-Health technology acceptance and an assessment of the national readiness to accept the proposed e-Health systems in a transitional country in South East Europe (SEE) is the overall aim of this research. This research will:

  • assess the parameters that predict acceptance of e-Health among health professionals
  • develop a novel, contextualised model of technology acceptance for healthcare
  • contribute to new knowledge in the area of technology acceptance in healthcare in SEE
  • propose policy recommendations and measures to increase the acceptance and actual use of e-Health among healthcare professionals

With aim to answer these questions, theories were developed and two empirical studies were conducted. Two modified technology acceptance models (technology acceptance model 2 -TAM2, and unified theory of acceptance and use of technology - UTAUT) were applied and tested for the first time on different samples of Macedonian healthcare professionals.

Not all the original variables from the TAM2 and UTAUT models were established as intention predictors among the participants in the two studies. First of all, an important finding was that two similar constructs, perceived ease of use (TAM2) and effort expectancy (UTAUT) were found as most important predictors of intentions in this research. These findings are different from previous findings in the literature which makes a novel contribution to what is already known. Perceived usefulness (TAM2) and performance expectancy (UTAUT) were not significant predictors of intentions in both studies of this thesis. These two constructs (perceived usefulness and performance expectancy) are major predictors of intentions across all studies in this area. Social influence, facilitating conditions, job relevance and descriptive norm were established as other predictors of intentions in this research. However, the data analyses indicated that perceived ease of use and effort expectancy have a far stronger association with intentions than other technology acceptance variables.

It should be taken into consideration that this is the first study of its kind in SEE. It is possible that healthcare professionals in this part of Europe have different attitudes to ICT in healthcare compared to other geographical regions and countries in Europe. This may be because of possible cultural differences in ICT acceptance in healthcare settings between SEE healthcare professionals and their colleagues in other parts of Europe.