Evaluation of attitudes towards telemedicine as a basis for successful implementation: A cross-sectional survey among postgraduate trainees in family medicine in Germany

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Abstract

Background: By comparison with other countries of the European Union Germany is only middle-ranking in terms of telemedicine usage. There is a relevant gap between the legal framework and the actual state of implementation. Healthcare providers play an important role in this implementation process as they are increasingly confronted with the application of telemedical scenarios. Therefore, the aim of this survey was to determine attitudes towards telemedicine of postgraduate trainees in Family Medicine (FM) in Germany. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between July and October 2016 among postgraduate trainees in FM throughout Germany. The questionnaire covered four topics: attitudes towards telemedicine, barriers for the implementation of telemedicine, assessment of useful telemedical applications and telemedicine scenarios. A descriptive approach was used to analyze the data in order to derive determinants for the implementation of telemedicine. Results: In total, 388 postgraduate trainees from 13 of the 16 federal states in Germany answered the survey. Seventy-eight percent were female. Participants’ mean age was 36 years. The majority of participants believed that only a fraction of the already existing technology in telemedicine is being used (70 %). The largest perceived barrier to telemedicine was data safety concerns. More than half of the participants (54 %) believed that telemedicine would change the doctor-patient relationship. 51 % of the participants were interested in training in telemedicine. In this respect, it is important to note that 27 % of the postgraduate trainees said their willingness to practice in rural areas might be facilitated through the availability of telemedical backup for family physicians. Conclusions: Participating trainees in FM in Germany think that the potential for telemedicine is not yet fully exploited. Based on the results of this survey the next steps to be taken for the implementation of telemedicine applications can be addressed.

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APA

Waschkau, A., Flägel, K., Goetz, K., & Steinhäuser, J. (2020). Evaluation of attitudes towards telemedicine as a basis for successful implementation: A cross-sectional survey among postgraduate trainees in family medicine in Germany. Zeitschrift Fur Evidenz, Fortbildung Und Qualitat Im Gesundheitswesen, 156157, 75–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.zefq.2020.07.001

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