Exploring the barriers and facilitators surrounding eHealth integration in the workplace from a physiotherapists perspective: A qualitative study.
Question: What are the barriers and facilitators which exist, from an allied health professionals perspective, regarding eHealth integration in the workplace? Design: Qualitative study of four focus groups using a phenomenological approach. Participants: Eighteen AHPs with a minimum qualification of a Band 5. Results: Data from focus groups concurred and four main themes emerged: quality of care, technological issues, knowledge and understanding, and general attitudes. eHealth was seen as a beneficial addition to the workplace in improving quality of care through enhanced time and communication efficiency, organisational services and patient empowerment. Ongoing and structured eHealth training and support was seen as essential for successful eHealth integration in order to maintain skills and confidence. eHealth knowledge and exposure were identified as key elements; participants acknowledged that those with a greater exposure and understanding of eHealth were more likely to willingly integrate this into the workplace. Generational issues presented as a potential barrier to eHealth optimism due to its potential to provoke feelings of intimidation. Lack of adequate resources and fear caused by distrust in systems also presented as a possible barrier to eHealth integration. The relationship between AHP confidence regarding eHealth and willingness to support eHealth integration was a prominent factor throughout themes. Conclusion: Barriers and facilitators to eHealth integration vary depending on the type of eHealth being implemented, however findings from this study suggest that strong themes exist. Eliciting the opinions of AHPs prior to eHealth integration could be beneficial for enhancing the likelihood of eHealth implementation success.