Health information technology (HIT) has helped promote momentous advances in patient care. Its adoption and implementation will be among the more critical factors in making additional advances; furthermore, HIT is that much more important in ameliorating fragmentation of care beyond addressing episodic care quality, in and of itself. Even in an age where digital technology pervades, and seemingly new mobile phone systems, laptops, gaming, and other devices appear almost weekly, many clinicians are resistant to change and skeptical about new HIT.
Darby et al conducted a study to determine pharmacists’ acceptance and resistance to HIT.1 They found that acceptance of HIT was fueled by pharmacists’ attitudes and their perceived behavioral control. Subjective norms were not significant in the results. This suggests that pharmacists carry with them an overall attitude about health technology that perhaps includes an element of attitude toward technology, itself. They also are more favorable toward technology when they believe that they can assume control over its use and that its use will specifically help them in their practice, regardless of what other pharmacists might think of the technology. Resistance to HIT was fueled by transition cost but not regret avoidance or sunk costs. In other words, pharmacists are wary of the economic and logistical (eg, time) costs it takes to transition to a new technology.
A person will embrace a new concept/paradigm/technology more readily if they feel they can control it and that it will help them. Pharmacists would be well served to stay abreast of HIT developments and reflect on the larger societal and patient benefit from technology that can potentially reduce fragmentation of care, even while maintaining a critical eye to evaluate each technology for what its worth, along with the reputation of the vendor. Pharmacy managers should seek input on HIT solutions from its staff pharmacists and support personnel as well as provide education and training on how they can “control” the technology to improve their own work environments and the outcomes of patients that they serve.
Additional information about Managing the Technology that Supports the Medication Use Process can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Darby AB, Su Y, Reynolds RB. A survey-based study of pharmacist acceptance and resistance to health information technology. Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2019;16(Spring): 1a.