Incorporation of Information Technology (IT) advancements in healthcare has been growing in the recent past. There is convincing evidence that developing countries can also benefit from telemedicine and other IT applications in healthcare. The Malaysian government, in mid-1996, launched the multimedia supercorridor (MSC) project. As a new medical technology in the country, it takes a huge effort to make professionals understand this new concept.
To evaluate the readiness of healthcare professionals in the country in accepting and providing telemedicine services and to access levels of perception and opinion towards telemedicine, and to access knowledge factors in relation to telemedicine.
Materials and Methods:
A cross sectional survey was carried out among various healthcare professionals using a proper sampling frame obtained from a list of health care providers in all state Department of Health in the country. The study questionnaire consists of 3 main parts; background and demography, perceptions and acceptance and knowledge level. The questionnaires were mailed to the respondents and the completed questionnaires were analyzed as per the study objectives.
The total response rate in this study was 32.48% (369/1136). On average, the respondents were young and with 10 years of experience.The majority of the respondents mentioned that computers are important for them for internet use (84%) and using software packages (83%). Only 31% wish to accept the reduction of face-to-face communication with patients and other health professionals. Majority of respondents have used CD ROMs (82%), e-mail (84%) and modem (76%), while more than three quarters of the respondents have no experience with using smart cards, computer assisted learning (CAL), teleradiology, telesurgery, telenursing and telepharmacy, respectively.
The majority of respondents mentioned that their computers are important for them for internet use and using software packages. Nearly half of the respondents felt that computers are important for their profession. Most respondents have used CD ROMs and e-mail facilities. In general, the respondents have a low inclination towards working in rural areas for a telemedicine project.
Ibrahim MIM, Phing CW, Palaian S. Evaluation Of Knowledge And Perception Of Malaysian Health Professionals About Telemedicine. JCDR. 2010 Feb;4(1):2052 - 2057.