Physicians, Nurses, and Medical Assistants

Physicians are individuals who through training, experience, and certifi cation are allowed to provide care to patients with a variety of illnesses. A Physician can be a general practitioner such a primary care physician or a specialist. Typically physicians are employed by a hospital or clinic. Nurses similar to Physicians have been through healthcare education and often under physician supervision (and at times independently) are expected to provide care to patients.

Medical Assistants (MA) typically poses job-specifi c training mainly to assist physicians and nurses with routine and less education dependent activities of providing care around the clinic. During daily operations physicians, nurses, and MAs are typically consumers of various forms of technology-based tools and they have been subjects of various research studies (Dorr, Wilcox, Donnelly, Burns, & Clayton, 2005 ; Dorr et al., 2006 ; Eden, 2002 ; Eley, Soar, Buikstra, Fallon, & Hegney, 2009 ; Ford, McAlearney, Phillips, Menachemi, & Rudolph, 2008 ; Jha et al., 2007 ;

May et al., 2001 ; Simpson, 2007 ; Wilcox et al., 2007 ). Research has shown that each of these types of individual provides based on attributes of their work place and/or their own personal characteristics experience various levels of technology use. Their use of technology can range from simply using electronic mail or calendars to sophisticated usages such as design patient selection algorithms from EHR data. Studying this type of stakeholder is critical since they are the daily users of technology and can have a profound effect on adoption of HIT Innovations.

They can also often act as the champion or decision makers when it comes to adopting an innovation in their clinics or hospitals. As shown in Fig. 2.1 the providers provide care to patients, are employed in the clinic, provide feedback to the IT vendors they use products from, adopt & use HIT innovations and collaborate with other providers for providing care.

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