Prevalence of technology and connectivity issues in general practices in rural New South Wales and their impact on staff capability to perform their job

Margot Leeson-Smith, Louise Geddes, Heath Johnson, Sabrina Pit, Robyn Ramsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To identify the technology and connectivity issues in rural and remote general practices, and the factors independently associated with these issues that negatively impact staff's capability to perform their job. Methods: An annual cross-sectional survey of rural and remote general practice managers. Dependent variables included demographic data, practice size, geographic location, connection type and frequency of connectivity issues. Descriptive statistics are presented, and bivariate logistic regression was undertaken to determine factors independently associated with connectivity issues that negatively impact staff's capability to perform their job. Participants: One hundred sixty-eight general practice managers from rural and remote New South Wales. Results: The majority of respondents (87%, n = 146) indicated that technology and connectivity issues had impacted staff's capability to perform their job. Internet problems were the most frequently reported issue (36%, n = 61). In bivariate analysis, practices that had a total clinical staff headcount between 5 and 7 (OR 0.27; 95% CI 0.10–0.67; p = 0.005) or between 8 and 11 (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.16–0.95; p = 0.038) were significantly less likely to report technology and connectivity issues that negatively impact staff's capability to perform their job, compared with practices with a total clinical headcount of less than five. Conclusions: Technology and connectivity issues persist in rural and remote general practices. This is the first study to demonstrate that technology and connectivity issues impact on rural staff's capability to perform their job. Furthermore, smaller practices face more technology and connectivity issues that negatively impact staff's capability to do their job than larger practices. Further research is required to find solutions to address these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence of technology and connectivity issues in general practices in rural New South Wales and their impact on staff capability to perform their job'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this