Increasing the use of e-consultation in primary care: Results of an online survey among non-users of e-consultation

N. Nijland, Julia E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, Hendrik Boer, M.F. Steehouder, E.R. Seydel

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Abstract

Objective To identify factors that can enhance the use of e-consultation in primary care. We investigated the barriers, demands and motivations regarding e-consultation among patients with no e-consultation experience (non-users). Methods We used an online survey to gather data. Via online banners on 26 different websites of patient organizations we recruited primary care patients with chronic complaints, an important target group for e-consultation. A regression analysis was performed to identify the main drivers for e-consultation use among patients with no e-consultation experience. Results In total, 1706 patients started to fill out the survey. Of these patients 90% had no prior e-consultation experience. The most prominent reasons for non-use of e-consultation use were: not being aware of the existence of the service, the preference to see a doctor and e-consultation not being provided by a GP. Patients were motivated to use e-consultation, because e-consultation makes it possible to contact a GP at any time and because it enabled patients to ask additional questions after a visit to the doctor. The use of a Web-based triage application for computer-generated advice was popular among patients desiring to determine the need to see a doctor and for purposes of self-care. The patients’ motivations to use e-consultation strongly depended on demands being satisfied such as getting a quick response. When looking at socio-demographic and health-related characteristics it turned out that certain patient groups – the elderly, the less-educated individuals, the chronic medication users and the frequent GP visitors – were more motivated than other patient groups to use e-consultation services, but were also more demanding. The less-educated patients, for example, more strongly demanded instructions regarding e-consultation use than the highly educated patients. Conclusion In order to foster the use of e-consultation in primary care both GPs and non-users must be informed about the possibilities and consequences of e-consultation through tailored education and instruction. We must also take into account patient profiles and their specific demands regarding e-consultation. Special attention should be paid to patients who can benefit the most from e-consultation while also facing the greatest chance of being excluded from the service. As health care continues to evolve towards a more patient-centred approach, we expect that patient expectations and demands will be a major force in driving the adoption of e-consultation.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)688-703
JournalInternational journal of medical informatics
Volume78
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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Referral and Consultation
Primary Health Care
Triage
Self Care
Regression Analysis
Demography
Delivery of Health Care
Education
Health

Keywords

  • Internet
  • E-mail
  • Patient-provider communication
  • Consultation
  • METIS-261059
  • IR-79444
  • Primary Care

Cite this

Nijland, N.; van Gemert-Pijnen, Julia E.W.C.; Boer, Hendrik; Steehouder, M.F.; Seydel, E.R. / Increasing the use of e-consultation in primary care: Results of an online survey among non-users of e-consultation.

In: International journal of medical informatics, Vol. 78, No. 10, 2009, p. 688-703.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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title = "Increasing the use of e-consultation in primary care: Results of an online survey among non-users of e-consultation",
abstract = "Objective To identify factors that can enhance the use of e-consultation in primary care. We investigated the barriers, demands and motivations regarding e-consultation among patients with no e-consultation experience (non-users). Methods We used an online survey to gather data. Via online banners on 26 different websites of patient organizations we recruited primary care patients with chronic complaints, an important target group for e-consultation. A regression analysis was performed to identify the main drivers for e-consultation use among patients with no e-consultation experience. Results In total, 1706 patients started to fill out the survey. Of these patients 90% had no prior e-consultation experience. The most prominent reasons for non-use of e-consultation use were: not being aware of the existence of the service, the preference to see a doctor and e-consultation not being provided by a GP. Patients were motivated to use e-consultation, because e-consultation makes it possible to contact a GP at any time and because it enabled patients to ask additional questions after a visit to the doctor. The use of a Web-based triage application for computer-generated advice was popular among patients desiring to determine the need to see a doctor and for purposes of self-care. The patients’ motivations to use e-consultation strongly depended on demands being satisfied such as getting a quick response. When looking at socio-demographic and health-related characteristics it turned out that certain patient groups – the elderly, the less-educated individuals, the chronic medication users and the frequent GP visitors – were more motivated than other patient groups to use e-consultation services, but were also more demanding. The less-educated patients, for example, more strongly demanded instructions regarding e-consultation use than the highly educated patients. Conclusion In order to foster the use of e-consultation in primary care both GPs and non-users must be informed about the possibilities and consequences of e-consultation through tailored education and instruction. We must also take into account patient profiles and their specific demands regarding e-consultation. Special attention should be paid to patients who can benefit the most from e-consultation while also facing the greatest chance of being excluded from the service. As health care continues to evolve towards a more patient-centred approach, we expect that patient expectations and demands will be a major force in driving the adoption of e-consultation.",
keywords = "Internet, E-mail, Patient-provider communication, Consultation, METIS-261059, IR-79444, Primary Care",
author = "N. Nijland and {van Gemert-Pijnen}, {Julia E.W.C.} and Hendrik Boer and M.F. Steehouder and E.R. Seydel",
year = "2009",
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Increasing the use of e-consultation in primary care: Results of an online survey among non-users of e-consultation. / Nijland, N.; van Gemert-Pijnen, Julia E.W.C.; Boer, Hendrik; Steehouder, M.F.; Seydel, E.R.

In: International journal of medical informatics, Vol. 78, No. 10, 2009, p. 688-703.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Increasing the use of e-consultation in primary care: Results of an online survey among non-users of e-consultation

AU - Nijland,N.

AU - van Gemert-Pijnen,Julia E.W.C.

AU - Boer,Hendrik

AU - Steehouder,M.F.

AU - Seydel,E.R.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Objective To identify factors that can enhance the use of e-consultation in primary care. We investigated the barriers, demands and motivations regarding e-consultation among patients with no e-consultation experience (non-users). Methods We used an online survey to gather data. Via online banners on 26 different websites of patient organizations we recruited primary care patients with chronic complaints, an important target group for e-consultation. A regression analysis was performed to identify the main drivers for e-consultation use among patients with no e-consultation experience. Results In total, 1706 patients started to fill out the survey. Of these patients 90% had no prior e-consultation experience. The most prominent reasons for non-use of e-consultation use were: not being aware of the existence of the service, the preference to see a doctor and e-consultation not being provided by a GP. Patients were motivated to use e-consultation, because e-consultation makes it possible to contact a GP at any time and because it enabled patients to ask additional questions after a visit to the doctor. The use of a Web-based triage application for computer-generated advice was popular among patients desiring to determine the need to see a doctor and for purposes of self-care. The patients’ motivations to use e-consultation strongly depended on demands being satisfied such as getting a quick response. When looking at socio-demographic and health-related characteristics it turned out that certain patient groups – the elderly, the less-educated individuals, the chronic medication users and the frequent GP visitors – were more motivated than other patient groups to use e-consultation services, but were also more demanding. The less-educated patients, for example, more strongly demanded instructions regarding e-consultation use than the highly educated patients. Conclusion In order to foster the use of e-consultation in primary care both GPs and non-users must be informed about the possibilities and consequences of e-consultation through tailored education and instruction. We must also take into account patient profiles and their specific demands regarding e-consultation. Special attention should be paid to patients who can benefit the most from e-consultation while also facing the greatest chance of being excluded from the service. As health care continues to evolve towards a more patient-centred approach, we expect that patient expectations and demands will be a major force in driving the adoption of e-consultation.

AB - Objective To identify factors that can enhance the use of e-consultation in primary care. We investigated the barriers, demands and motivations regarding e-consultation among patients with no e-consultation experience (non-users). Methods We used an online survey to gather data. Via online banners on 26 different websites of patient organizations we recruited primary care patients with chronic complaints, an important target group for e-consultation. A regression analysis was performed to identify the main drivers for e-consultation use among patients with no e-consultation experience. Results In total, 1706 patients started to fill out the survey. Of these patients 90% had no prior e-consultation experience. The most prominent reasons for non-use of e-consultation use were: not being aware of the existence of the service, the preference to see a doctor and e-consultation not being provided by a GP. Patients were motivated to use e-consultation, because e-consultation makes it possible to contact a GP at any time and because it enabled patients to ask additional questions after a visit to the doctor. The use of a Web-based triage application for computer-generated advice was popular among patients desiring to determine the need to see a doctor and for purposes of self-care. The patients’ motivations to use e-consultation strongly depended on demands being satisfied such as getting a quick response. When looking at socio-demographic and health-related characteristics it turned out that certain patient groups – the elderly, the less-educated individuals, the chronic medication users and the frequent GP visitors – were more motivated than other patient groups to use e-consultation services, but were also more demanding. The less-educated patients, for example, more strongly demanded instructions regarding e-consultation use than the highly educated patients. Conclusion In order to foster the use of e-consultation in primary care both GPs and non-users must be informed about the possibilities and consequences of e-consultation through tailored education and instruction. We must also take into account patient profiles and their specific demands regarding e-consultation. Special attention should be paid to patients who can benefit the most from e-consultation while also facing the greatest chance of being excluded from the service. As health care continues to evolve towards a more patient-centred approach, we expect that patient expectations and demands will be a major force in driving the adoption of e-consultation.

KW - Internet

KW - E-mail

KW - Patient-provider communication

KW - Consultation

KW - METIS-261059

KW - IR-79444

KW - Primary Care

U2 - 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.06.002

DO - 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2009.06.002

M3 - Article

VL - 78

SP - 688

EP - 703

JO - International journal of medical informatics

T2 - International journal of medical informatics

JF - International journal of medical informatics

SN - 1386-5056

IS - 10

ER -