Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude and Skills of Telemedicine among Health Professional Faculty Working in Teaching Hospitals JC01-JC04
Dr. Zayabalaradjane Zayapragassarazan,
Associate Professor, Department of Medical Education, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER),
Introduction: Telemedicine is an emerging technology in health sector in India. The success of any new technology depends on many factors including the knowledge and understanding of the concept, skills acquired, attitude towards technology and working environment by the concerned professionals.
Aim: The main objective of this study was to assess the awareness, knowledge, attitude and skills of telemedicine among the health professionals working in the teaching hospitals of Puducherry Region of India.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among various healthcare professionals using a proper sampling frame obtained from a list of teaching hospitals located in Puducherry Union Territory, India. A total of 120 teaching faculties and practitioners from the preclinical, para-clinical and clinical departments were taken up for the study. A pre-validated self-administered questionnaire was used for the survey to assess the awareness, knowledge, attitude and skills of telemedicine. The questionnaires were mailed to the respondents and the completed questionnaires were analysed as per the study objectives using descriptive statistics for the quantitative data and content analysis for the qualitative data.
Results: The knowledge level of the respondents was found to be good with 41% of the respondents, 35% possess fair knowledge and 24% don’t have adequate knowledge of telemedicine. With regard to the attitude towards telemedicine 39% of the respondents possess high attitude, 31% possess moderate attitude and 30% possess low level of attitude. Investigations on the skills of the respondents on telemedicine showed that 19% respondents are highly skilled or experts, 25% are moderately skilled which includes learners or beginners, and 56% are unskilled in handling telemedicine and its related equipments.
Conclusion: The findings of the study suggest that although the respondents experience and knowledge are limited in telemedicine technology a fair number of them have positive attitude towards telemedicine. It is the need of the hour to educate and train the teaching faculty, practicing physicians, residents, medical students and other health professionals about telemedicine and issues related to its use.