Background: The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or e-Health is seen as essential for a modern, cost-effective health service. However, there are well documented problems with implementation of e-Health initiatives, despite the existence of a great deal of research into how best to implement e-Health (an example of the gap between research and practice). This paper reports on the development and formative evaluation of an e-Health Implementation Toolkit (e-HIT) which aims to summarise and synthesise new and existing research on implementation of e-Health initiatives, and present it to senior managers in a user-friendly format.
Results: The content of the e-HIT was derived by combining data from a systematic review of reviews of barriers and facilitators to implementation of e-Health initiatives with qualitative data derived from interviews of "implementers", that is people who had been charged with implementing an e-Health initiative. These data were summarised, synthesised and combined with the constructs from the Normalisation Process Model. The software for the toolkit was developed by a commercial company (RocketScience). Formative evaluation was undertaken by obtaining user feedback. There are three components to the toolkit--a section on background and instructions for use aimed at novice users; the toolkit itself; and the report generated by completing the toolkit. It is available to download from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/pcph/research/ehealth/documents/e-HIT.xls.
Conclusions: The e-HIT shows potential as a tool for enhancing future e-Health implementations. Further work is needed to make it fully web-enabled, and to determine its predictive potential for future implementations.