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Digital Disparities in Patient Adoption of Telemedicine: A Qualitative Analysis of the Patient Experience

Digital Disparities in Patient Adoption of Telemedicine: A Qualitative Analysis of the Patient Experience
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Author(s): Alissa M. Dickey (University of New Mexico, USA)and Molly McLure Wasko (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA)
Copyright: 2023
Volume: 18
Issue: 1
Pages: 21
Source title: International Journal of Healthcare Information Systems and Informatics (IJHISI)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Qiang (Shawn) Cheng (University of Kentucky, USA)and Joseph Tan (McMaster University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHISI.318043

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Abstract

Telemedicine's growth during the COVID-19 pandemic exposed digital and health disparities in U.S. communities. Public health advocates suggest disparities in healthcare access may be mitigated through free or low-cost broadband. However, prior research shows that many factors influence patient adoption of information technologies; therefore, increasing access to broadband alone is insufficient. This paper advances a patient-centered model of telemedicine (TM) adoption supported by qualitative interview data. The model illustrates that patient adoption of TM is driven by a complex sociotechnical system comprised of technology factors, structural factors underlying the provider's provision of TM, and individual patient factors. Findings highlight the importance of the physical place of the TM visit, the need for experienced TM healthcare workers and technology support for patients, the impact of provider-mandated technology on task-technology fit (TTF), and the strength of the patient-provider relationship. These factors affect patient perceptions of TTF and ultimately TM adoption.

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