From 2007 to 2009, the Ministry of Health commissioned qualitative and quantitative research studies of the health sector’s ICT usage and requirements – the most extensive research of its kind undertaken in New Zealand.
The research provides establishes benchmark data of current health ICT usage and provides an understanding of the future requirements for ICT products and services from the health sector. The links on the right are to the full Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research Reports, and to the Technical Appendix of the Quantitative Market Research Report includes in depth information of the research methodology. A short information sheet about the research is also included.
CURRENT USE OF ICT
- Nearly all (93%) of ICT Decision-makers stated that their organisation had internet access, with 88% having high speed internet access.
- Most ICT Decision-makers stated that their organisation had email and fax capability, and half of the non-DHB Clinicians in this survey said that they had used email to communicate with patients.
- Nearly half (45%) of Clinicians said that their email address was associated with their ISP, while 44% said that it was associated with their organisation.
- One in two non-DHB Clinicians stated that at least once a day they could not find patient information electronically to optimally treat their patients.
- The more Clinicians used Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability and the more they said they were knowledgeable about and comfortable with using ICT, the higher the likelihood they could not find the information they wanted to optimally treat their patients.
- Approximately a quarter (28%) of organisations said they operated from multiple fixed locations, 13% worked from outreach clinics and 15% worked remotely.
CURRENT ICT INVESTMENTS AND SUPPORT
- Nearly half the health organisations stated they had made significant investments in ICT infrastructure in the previous six months. Just over a third said they had made significant investments in software applications over the same time.
- The larger the organisation, the more likely it was to utilise ICT, have internal ICT support and be positive about improving their ICT capabilities in the future.
- Most Decision-makers were broadly satisfied with the value for money they were receiving for their ICT spend, although only one in six rated value for money as “excellent”.
FUTURE INVESTMENT AND THE BENEFITS OF BETTER ICT
- There was strong agreement across the Health and Disability Sector that improved ICT would help to enhance service delivery. The top three benefits from improved ICT were seen as being improved:
- co-ordination between health care practitioners;
- quality of care; and
- time efficiency.
- Most respondents said that improving their organisation’s use of ICT was a major priority for them.
- This recognition of the benefits of improved ICT was supported by the fact that most ICT Decision-makers believed their organisation’s usage of and investment in ICT would increase over the next year. The more organisations spent on ICT, including telecommunications, the greater the likelihood they were planning to increase their ICT investment in the future.
- ICT Decision-makers said they took into account a range of factors when deciding to invest in ICT. The top three drivers mentioned were:
- reduction in paperwork or manual processing;
- workflow benefits; and
- improved access to patient information.
FUTURE ICT REQUIREMENTS AND BARRIERS TO THEIR INTRODUCTION
- Participants’ stated main priorities for accessing or sending information electronically were:
- diagnostic test results
- discharge summaries; and
- medication information.
- The major stated barriers to achieving better ICT were:
- incompatible Patient Management Systems
- inadequate funding and resources
- conncerns about privacy and security.
- Nearly half of Clinicians said they would be “very likely” to use a centralised National Directory and more than half said they would be “very likely” to provide their contact details.
- More than half of respondents said that they would be interested in a secure email system.
- This recognition of the benefits of improved ICT was supported by the fact that most ICT Decision-makers reported that their organisation’s investment in ICT would increase over the next year.
- The majority of respondents said they would be interested in receiving information from the Ministry on new ICT developments.
- Most said they were interested in learning more about ICT.