The eHealth Readiness of Australia's Allied Health Sector - Final Report

Shaping eHealth products

Page last updated: 30 May 2011

A number of barriers to adoption of eHealth stem from concerns about the eHealth solution itself, such as the security, privacy, suitability, interoperability, usability, reliability or cost (of installation and operation) of the solutions. Therefore an effective adoption strategy cannot be limited to engaging or shaping the demand. Interventions are needed to lower the product-related barriers (real or perceived), tailoring the product or its delivery to the differentiated needs of the allied health professions.

All the interventions listed in the following Tables 1-3 will be required to some extent. High (H), Medium (M) and Low (L) are rankings of relative efficacy for each cluster, and do not suggest whether or not a lever is fundamentally important.

TABLE 1: Product-shaping levers by cluster


Shape the product Proactive pioneer Embedded converts Risk-conscious Cost-conscious Doubters Firm non-adopters
  1. Ensure access to or provide fundamental infrastructure
L
M
L
M
H
M
  1. Establish, enforce and communicate compliance with clear interoperability standards
H
M
L
L
H
L
  1. Provide ‘backbone’ framework establishing legal, data ownership and storage, and security standards and rules
H
L
M
L
H
M
  1. Establish shared solution architecture platforms to ensure more efficient development and delivery of standards-compliant solutions
H
H
L
M
H
M
  1. Create the conditions which engage vendors in developing eHealth solutions aligned to practice and cluster type to address usability and functional requirements concerns
H
L
L
H
M
M
  1. Establish support mechanisms to prevent or mitigate downtime risk and other non-functional performance issues
L
L
H
H
H
M
  1. Assist EHR early adopters transitioning to structured record-keeping
H
M
L
L
L
L
  1. Provide a ‘practice upgrade and change management’ service
L
M
H
H
H
M

Shaping eHealth demand

The research identifies wide variations in the intended use of eHealth solutions, and in the attitudinal underpinnings of these variations. The clusters have markedly different perceptions of the benefits, costs and risks of eHealth. Therefore the effort to shape the demand for eHealth solutions must be grounded in the needs profiles identified in the research: by speciality and by cluster. Examples of demand-shaping interventions are outlined below, focused on defining and proving tailored value propositions, and stimulating awareness and early adoption.

TABLE 2: Demand-shaping levers by cluster


    Shape the demand
    Proactive pioneer
    Embedded converts
    Risk-conscious
    Cost-conscious
    Doubters
    Firm non-adopters
  1. Define tailored value propositions by profession and/or cluster
L
M
L
L
L
M
  1. Empower “super-users” and professional bodies to define, establish and promote benefits
H
M
H
M
H
M
  1. Develop an evaluation framework to track and report on business-, patient- and efficiency-related benefits
L
L
M
M
H
M
  1. Build usage expectation at practitioner and patient level
L
L
M
H
M
M
  1. Reduce the perception of risks in the change to an eHealth solution via peer testimonials and professional bodies communications
L
L
H
L
M
M
  1. Provide financial assistance at key milestones
L
M
L
H
H
M

Shaping health ecosystems

Introducing eHealth solutions that affect care delivery models will require coordinated approaches across the healthcare system. The research has confirmed that allied health practitioners are influenced by overall system changes and benefits. The eHealth adoption strategy therefore needs to help create the conditions in the ecosystem that influence and support adoption, within and across clusters. This includes a regulatory and incentive environment in which vendors, professional bodies and practitioners can develop and adopt the right solutions.

TABLE 3: Ecosystem-shaping levers by cluster


Shape the ecosystem Proactive pioneer Embedded converts Risk-conscious Cost-conscious Doubters Firm non-adopters
  1. Establish clear and aligned eHealth adoption aspiration and timeline to facilitate decisions and commitments by practitioners and solution vendors
H
M
L
M
M
L
  1. Coordinate critical mass of adoption within defined health networks
M
L
H
M
H
M
  1. Create transparency on adoption plans and trends
L
M
H
M
M
L
  1. Embed eHealth training into professional education programs, and anticipate implications of eHealth-enabled models of care in workforce planning and education and development
L
H
M
M
M
L
  1. Enlist the full support, engagement and influence of professional bodies and patient representation groups
H
M
H
M
M
L
  1. Require mandatory participation via regulation or other mechanisms
L
L
M
L
M
H

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