Adoption of health information technology in the mobile emergency care service


RAUSP Manag. J.




Abstract Purpose Health is at the center of society concerns, being characterized by the dilemma of contributing to the population well-being, while demanding high financial investments at the same time. In this sense, information technology (IT) becomes essential for the progress of the sector, directly impacting on how care practices are performed. This study aims to analyze the adoption of mobile devices in the mobile emergency care service (MECS) of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Design/methodology/approach The authors carried out a multi-method study with an initial qualitative exploration through a focal group, followed by a survey. Potential determinants and impacts of mobile device use on the work context of the MECS teams were identified. Following, we tested the proposed conceptual model applying a questionnaire to 350 professionals from a total of 160 bases throughout the State. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses herein. Findings The authors found that Satisfaction with the Use of Mobile PHC (PHC – Primary Health Care) is determined by the application compatibility with MECS work, followed by the performance expectancy with the use of the technology and the technical support provided to the users – acting as important facilitators of this process; while the technological complexity inherent in the use of the technology appears as the main barrier to the success of this technology. Besides, the authors found that both intensity of Use and Satisfaction with the Use of the technology provide different benefits to those involved (teams, patients and the organization). Research limitations/implications As limitations of the study, the authors point out to the fact that the data are from a single Brazilian State, and therefore, its results cannot be generalized. Another limitation is that the study considered only the use of a specific mobile technology, which requires caution when using this information in contexts where the health information technology is different, besides the fact that the findings may not be compatible in environments where IT adoption is voluntary. Practical implications The study can help managers of public and private organizations in the planning and implementation of different technologies, whether mobile or applied to the health context, as well as in the expansion of their use in their respective institutions. Social implications The research contributes to other studies that realize that the adoption of IT can cause relevant changes to health being associated to productivity gains and improvement of the quality of service provided to society through different forms and solutions. Originality/value The adoption and use of IT – such as mobile devices – impacts on how care practices are performed in the MECS, providing different benefits to those involved (teams, patients and the organization).

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