Physician acceptance of a computerized health maintenance prompting program

Am J Prev Med. Jan-Feb 1987;3(1):19-24.


Computer prompting systems remind physicians to perform health promotion/disease prevention (HP/DP) procedures on their patients, but it is unclear how willingly physicians accept these systems. Because acceptance is critical to long-term system success, we assessed attitudes toward a computerized health maintenance program (HMP) prompting system. We surveyed 23 faculty and 52 residents in a general medicine teaching hospital group practice after the HMP had been in use for three years. Sixty-four physicians (85 percent) responded. Almost all (91 percent) agreed that all ongoing-care patients should receive periodic screening--a significant (p less than .001) increase compared to 1979, when prior to the HMP 56 percent agreed. On average, the physicians believed that 87 percent of their ongoing-care patients over 50 years of age should be enrolled in the HMP. About half (55 percent) felt that losing the HMP would limit their ability to care for their patients, and almost all (97 percent) said they would include a prompting system in any future private practice, with most (87 percent) preferring a computer-based system. A majority (65 percent) said that they liked being reminded. Prompting systems improve physician performance of HP/DP procedures. The HMP received a high level of acceptance and was associated with improved attitudes toward HP/PD activities, suggesting that computerized prompting systems should be more widespread.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Information Systems*
  • Internship and Residency
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Physicians / psychology*