Compared with the increasingly widespread use of picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs), knowledge concerning users’ acceptance of such systems is limited. Knowledge of acceptance is needed given the large (and growing) financial investment associated with the implementation of PACSs, and because the level of user acceptance influences the degree to which the benefits of the systems for healthcare can be realized.
A Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to assess the level of acceptance of the host PACS by staff in the radiology department at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A questionnaire survey of 89 PACS users was employed to obtain data regarding user characteristics, perceived usefulness (PU) (6 items), perceived ease of use (PEU) (4 items), a change construct (4 items), and a behavior (acceptance) construct (9 items). Respondents graded each item in each construct using five-point likert scales.
Surveyed users reported high levels of PU (4.33/5), PEU (4.15/5), change (4.26/5), and acceptance (3.86/5). The three constructs of PU, PEU, and change explained 41% of the variation in PACS user acceptance. PU was the most important predictor, explaining 38% of the variation on its own. The most important single item in the explanatory constructs was that users found PACS to have improved the quality of their work in providing better patient care. Technologists had lower acceptance ratings than did clinicians/radiologists, but no influence on acceptance level was found due to gender, age, or length of experience using the PACS. Although not directly measured, there appeared to be no cultural influence on either the level of acceptance or its determinants.
User acceptance must be considered when an organization implements a PACS, in order to enhance its successful adoption. Health organizations should adopt a PACS that offers all required functions and which is likely to generate high PU on the part of its users, rather than a system that is easy to use. Training/familiarization programs should aim at establishing high levels of PU in all users, particularly technologists. Health organizations are advised to measure all the factors that influence the acceptance of a PACS by their staff, in order to optimize the productivity of the system and realize the potential benefits to the greatest extent possible.