Patients' adoption of the e-appointment scheduling service: A case study in primary healthcare
The aim of this study is to investigate patients’ initial acceptance and ongoing use of a simple but typical type of consumer e-health service – an eappointment scheduling (EAS) system – in order to identify facilitators and barriers for patients’ adoption of e-health services in primary healthcare. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather patients’ background information, their awareness of the system, their feedbacks on the characteristics of the system, and their reasons for use or not use the system. A total of 125 patients aged between 17 and 74 were interviewed. Study results show that 89% of the interviewed patients had shown reluctance to adopt this online service. The identified barriers for acceptance include many patients’ lack of access to the internet, lack of awareness of the service, low computer skills and incompatibility of the online appointment service with many patients’ habits of face-to-face or phone-call based medical appointment making. Health service providers need to consider the general public’s acceptance for online services before implementing consumer e-health systems.