GPs' perspectives on eHealth use in the Czech Republic: a cross-sectional mixed-design survey study

BJGP Open. 2019 Oct 29;3(3):bjgpopen19X101655. doi: 10.3399/bjgpopen19X101655. Print 2019 Oct.


Background: Digitalisation of health services is among the top priorities of the European Union (EU), yet take-up of eHealth tools is slower in some EU countries than others.

Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of information communication technology (ICT) and eHealth tools by Czech GPs, to elucidate their motivation and barriers to the adoption of eHealth technologies.

Design & setting: A cross-sectional, mixed-design survey study, administered online and conducted with GPs from seven randomly selected Czech regions. Of the invited 777 GPs, 196 participants responded (25% response rate) and 153 completed the survey.

Method: Quantitative (measured using, for example, the eHealth readiness scale) and qualitative (thematic analysis) methods were used.

Results: Hierarchical multilinear regression (controling for age, sex, and city size) showed that ICT usage in general practice was predicted by eHealth readiness. Among GPs with their own practice, age and practice size also predicted ICT use. Analysis of barriers specific to mobile health tools identified obstacles on the side of GPs (such as low perceived usefulness), patients (such as lack of interest), and contextual barriers (such as lack of time).

Conclusion: In addition to system-level change, educating Czech GPs about the benefits of eHealth tools for better patient-provider interaction and quality of care is necessary to facilitate eHealth adoption and usage in the Czech Republic.

Keywords: ICT; clinicians; eHealth; general practice; mHealth; telemedicine.