Adjusting to digital change: learnings from five hospitals using mHealth for gestational diabetes management
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Australian eHealth Research Centre, CSIRO, Australia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A570
Background and Objective: Mobile health (mHealth) platforms are becoming increasingly common as health services try to meet the growing demand for quality care in managing chronic health conditions. Conditions such as gestational diabetes which require consistent record-keeping and monitoring lend themselves to digital solutions, yet the implementation of these technologies remains challenged. The Objective of this study was to examine the change management experiences of stakeholders utilising the MoTHer platform which consists of a patient facing App and a web-based clinician dashboard, to support the management of gestational diabetes across five Australian hospitals. Methods: A mixed-methodsapproach has been used to understand stakeholder experiences implementing MoTHer. Clinicians, project staff including engineers across five Australian hospitals where the platform has been used with 5000+ patients since June 2020 are sharing their views in interviews and contributing via a survey based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). Additionally, communications and pain points raised with project staff across study sites are being thematically analysed to understand common and potentially overlooked implementation challenges. Results: Preliminary findings (final results expected by conference date) suggest that the Introduction of mHealth has had multi-level implications, particularly in the health service eco-system, affecting care-coordination, staffing, allocation of resources, billing, and potentially other service models (with clinical outcomes reported to be affected). Conclusions: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has given innovation a nudge, mHealth is not a brand-new option for health service support. Research suggests there has been a lack of appropriate change management principles within health systems which has delayed adoption. Initial takeaways from this study suggest there is room for more structured frameworks to support technology transitions, particularly for clinicians and services. This study will provide important learnings which can inform future digital health integration, supporting the change management process and long-term sustainability.