The objective was to identify doctors’ utilization of ICT; to develop and characterise a typology of doctors’ utilization of ICT and to identify factors that can enhance or inhibit the use of these technologies within medical practice.
An online survey of the 16,531 members of the Physicians Association of Barcelona who had a registered email account in 2006 was carried out. Factor analysis, cluster analysis and binomial logit model were undertaken.
Multivariate statistics analysis of the 2199 responses obtained revealed two profiles of adoption of ICT. The first profile (38.61% of respondents) represents those doctors who place high emphasis on ICT within their practice. This group is thus referred to as ‘integrated doctors’. The second profile (61.39% of respondents) represents those doctors who make less use of ICT so are consequently labelled ‘non-integrated doctors’. From the statistical modelling, it was observed that an emphasis on international information; emphasis on ICT for research and medical practice; emphasis on information systems to consult and prescribe; undertaking teaching/research activities; a belief that the use of the Internet improved communication with patients and practice in both public and private health organizations play a positive and significant role in the probability of being an ‘integrated doctor’.
The integration of ICT within medical practice cannot be adequately understood and appreciated without examining how doctors are making use of ICT within their own practice, organizational contexts and the opportunities and constraints afforded by institutional, professional and patient expectations and demands.
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