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eReferrals: why are we still faxing?
Background and objective: eReferrals have the potential to be a transformative technology in the healthcare space. This study explored attitudes, behaviours and barriers to eReferral use and electronic communication in general.
Method: A survey of doctors and allied health staff was undertaken in north-west Tasmania. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.
Results: The response rate was 57% (n = 204). For 80% (n = 164) of respondents, fax or post was the main method of sending letters to other healthcare professionals, and 72% (n = 147) wanted to increase the number of letters sent and received electronically. Barriers and enablers to eReferral use included peer behaviour, software factors, security issues and workplace culture.
Discussion: Somewhat ironically, the key barrier to eReferral use was peers not using eReferrals. A greater emphasis on software usability and interoperability is required. Despite eReferrals being promoted as the more secure alternative, security remains a key concern. Workplaces could influence adoption by encouraging eReferral use.
Publication titleAustralian Journal of General Practice
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherRoyal Australian College of General Practitioners
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statement© 2018 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners