Aim: To explore dietitians' perspectives on the eHealth readiness of Australian dietitians, and to identify strategies to improve eHealth readiness of the profession.
Methods: Dietitians who met the criteria for nutrition informatics experts participated in semi‐structured interviews between June 2016 and March 2017. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis using coding was undertaken until consensus was reached by the researchers regarding key themes, topics and exemplar quotes.
Results: Interviews with 10 nutrition informatics experts revealed 25 discussion topics grouped into four main themes: benefits of eHealth for dietitians; risks of dietitians not being involved in eHealth; dietitians are not ready for eHealth; and strategies to improve eHealth readiness. The strategies identified for improving eHealth readiness included: collaboration and representation, education, offering of incentives and mentoring, as well as development of a national strategy, organisational leaders, nutrition informatics champions and a supportive environment.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that dietitians may not be ready for eHealth. Strategic leadership and the actioning of other identified strategies will be imperative to preparing dietitians for eHealth to ensure the profession can practice effectively in the digital age, optimise nutrition care and support research for eHealth. If dietitians do not engage in eHealth, others may take their place, or dietitians may be forced to use eHealth in ways that are not the most effective for practice or maximising patient outcomes.
Available for download on Thursday, May 16, 2019