Barriers and facilitators for eHealth adoption by general practitioners in Belgium

Health Services Research (HSR)

All the federal services are gradually moving into the digital age, and healthcare is no exception. For general practitioners, however, this shift is not always passing off as smoothly as had been anticipated – even though the COVID-19 epidemic has speeded things up considerably. The KCE was asked to identify the factors liable to facilitate the adoption of the eHealth services by these practitioners who play such a pivotal role in our healthcare system.

After listening to the doctors, analysing the INAMI’s data and studying the international literature on the subject, we identified a number of avenues for improvement: improving the functioning, interoperability and technical support of the services offered, raising the doctors’ awareness, and providing them with training and financial backing.

Beside these conclusions, which all in all are fairly predictable, we also suggest that doctors be involved more closely in the development, testing and implementation of the future new services, alongside the authorities and software developers. After all, a more bottom-up approach, or even a process of joint creation with the developers, would enable them to see to it that the latter benefit from their practical knowledge and to identity the type of services liable to yield added value to their practice in the field.

KCE Reports 337: Barriers and facilitators for eHealth adoption by general practitioners in Belgium