Medical EducationOriginal Article

Predictors of Osteopathic Medical Students’ Readiness to Use Health Information Technology

Robin J. Jacobs, PhD, MSW, MS; Hassan Iqbal, MS; Arif M. Rana, PhD, EdS, MS, MPH; Zaid Rana, DO; and Michael N. Kane, PhD, MSW, MDiv
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: September 6, 2016

Accepted: September 29, 2016

Published: December 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(12): 773-781

Context: The advent of health information technology (HIT) tools can affect the practice of modern medicine in many ways, ideally by improving quality of care and efficiency and reducing medical errors. Future physicians will play a key role in the successful implementation of HIT. However, osteopathic medical students’ willingness to learn, adopt, and use technology in a health care setting is not well understood.

Objectives: To understand osteopathic medical students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding HIT and to identify factors that may be related to their readiness to use HIT.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional approach, quantitative surveys were collected from students attending a large osteopathic medical school. Multivariate regression modeling was used to determine whether knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and personal characteristics were associated with students’ readiness to use HIT in future clinical practice.

Results: Six hundred four students responded to at least 70% of the survey and were included in the analysis. Multivariate modeling successfully explained the 26% of variance in predicting students’ readiness to use HIT (F8,506=22.6, P<.001, R2=0.263). Greater self-efficacy, openness to change (in academic/work settings), favorable attitudes toward HIT use, mobile technology use, younger age, being male, and prior exposure to technology were associated with readiness to use HIT.

Conclusions: Understanding students’ level of HIT readiness may help guide medical education intervention efforts to better prepare future osteopathic physicians for HIT engagement and use. Innovative approaches to HIT education in medical school curricula that include biomedical informatics may be necessary.

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