Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

The Influence of Affect, Attitude and Usefulness in the Acceptance of Telemedicine Systems

Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

The Influence of Affect, Attitude and Usefulness in the Acceptance of Telemedicine Systems

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Grounded in current theories of affect this study examines the role positive and negative moods play on the acceptance of a specialized telemedicine system for microbiology consultation and diagnostics, referred to as telepathology. From a laboratory experiment using microbiology laboratory assistants, the notion that healthcare users' attitude is an important factor in the acceptance behavior of a healthcare information system is supported. A regression analysis of the data revealed the need to tailor the IS Technology Acceptance Model for the healthcare field. Specifically, our results show that ease of use which is thought to be a main antecedent of end-user acceptance of information technology may not be as important in the healthcare field. The results also indicated that affect is a significant antecedent of attitude and that positive affect is almost as effective in improving users' attitude toward acceptance of a healthcare information system as the perception of usefulness of the system. In addition, negative affect, while not as powerful as positive affect and usefulness, can significantly and negatively influence a user's attitude. Those interested in better understanding the adoption of IS within the healthcare industry would most benefit from our findings.

Keywords: Healthcare Information Systems, Telemedicine, Affect, Mood, Emotion, Attitude, Technology Acceptance, Decision Making, Decision Support Systems

INTRODUCTION

This research examines how the acceptance of healthcare technologies (e.g. telepathalogy system) could be increased. Motivated by the importance, and yet limited amount research related to attitude in the healthcare literature (Diener, Mueller, and Fletcher 2001; Grigsby, Kaehny, Sandberg, and Schlenker 1995), an investigation is conducted to reaffirm the impact attitude has on the acceptance of an information system and to study one particular hypothesized antecedent (affect). Next a model, which identifies affect as an important antecedent of attitude, is proposed and tested. Previous research suggests that attitudes may be influenced by one's affective state (Isen 2003). Moreover, studies show that affect is an essential component of making sound rational decisions (Hanoch 2002; Bachara, Damasio, Tranel, and Damasio 1997; Damasio 1994; Bachara, Damasio, Damasio, and Anderson 1994). Since choosing to adopt a healthcare system is a rational decision, it is likely that healthcare professionals' affect plays a role in whether they decide to adopt that system. Based on this literature, we argue that affect is an important factor that should be considered when studying attitude. By examining its influence on attitude when deciding to adopt a system, this research helps us better understand healthcare professionals' behavior and their system acceptance decision process.

BACKGROUND

The healthcare industry is one of the largest consumers of information technology in the U. S. economy. However, healthcare systems tends to be complex and inefficient (Evans and Wurster 2000) and healthcare industry often lags behind other industries in its adoption of information technologies (Abrahams, Ginsburg, and Silver 2005; Mikulich, Liu, and Steinfeldt 2001; Eder and Darter 1998). Though, this trend is poised to change because of demanding Internet-savvy consumers, spiraling health care costs, physician's interest in expanding their practices, and new healthcare related legislation. However, regardless of the potential advantages, underutilized technologies will not effectively achieve their intended purpose and the scarce medical resources supporting these systems will be wasted (Markus and Keil 1994; Mathieson 1991). Thus, user acceptance of healthcare technologies becomes a critical management issue (McGarry 2007; Perednia and Allen 1995). Examining factors that can increase the healthcare professionals' acceptance of healthcare technology can potentially provide insight into ways to improve the efficiency of healthcare practices, which in turn assists in advancing the technological movement of the healthcare industry as a whole. …

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