Escalation of commitment is the tendency that (innovation) projects continue, even if it is clear that they will not be successful and/or become extremely costly. Escalation prevention potential (EPP), the capability of an organization to stop or steer implementation processes that do not meet their expectations, may prevent an organization of losing time and money on unsuccessful projects. EPP consists of a set of checks and balances incorporated in managerial practices that safeguard management against irrational (but very human) decisions and may limit the escalation of implementation projects. We study whether successful implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) relates to EPP and investigate the organizational factors accounting for this relationship.
Structural equation modelling (SEM), using questionnaire data of 427 doctors and 631 nurses who had experience with implementation and use of EMRs in hospitals, was applied to study whether formal governance and organizational culture mediate the relationship between EPP and the perceived added value of EMRs.
Doctors and nurses in hospitals with more EPP report more successful implementation of EMR (in terms of perceived added value of the EMR). Formal governance mediates the relation between EPP and implementation success. We found no evidence that open or innovative culture explains the relationship between EPP and implementation success.
There is a positive relationship between the level of EPP and perceived added value of EMRs. This relationship is explained by formal governance mechanisms of organizations. This means that management has a set of tangible tools to positively affect the success of innovation processes. However, it also means that management needs to be able to critically reflect on its (previous) actions and decisions and is willing to change plans if elements of EPP signal that the implementation process is hampered.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13012-016-0435-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Technology implementation; Escalation of commitment; Escalation prevention potential; Electronic medical record; Perceived added value
To be able to make valid inferences on stated preference data from a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) it is essential that researchers know if participants were actively involved, understood and interpreted the provided information correctly and whether they used complex decision strategies to make their choices and thereby acted in accordance with the continuity axiom.
During structured interviews, we explored how 70 participants evaluated and completed four discrete choice tasks aloud. Hereafter, additional questions were asked to further explore if participants understood the information that was provided to them and whether they used complex decision strategies (continuity axiom) when making their choices. Two existing DCE questionnaires on rotavirus vaccination and prostate cancer-screening served as case studies.
A large proportion of the participants was not able to repeat the exact definition of the risk attributes as explained to them in the introduction of the questionnaire. The majority of the participants preferred more optimal over less optimal risk attribute levels. Most participants (66 %) mentioned three or more attributes when motivating their decisions, thereby acting in accordance with the continuity axiom. However, 16 out of 70 participants continuously mentioned less than three attributes when motivating their decision. Lower educated and less literate participants tended to mention less than three attributes when motivating their decision and used trading off between attributes less often as a decision-making strategy.
The majority of the participants seemed to have understood the provided information about the choice tasks, the attributes, and the levels. They used complex decision strategies (continuity axiom) and are therefore capable to adequately complete a DCE. However, based on the participants’ age, educational level and health literacy additional, actions should be undertaken to ensure that participants understand the choice tasks and complete the DCE as presumed.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12874-016-0140-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Discrete choice experiment; Methodology; Decision-making; Preference measurement; Testing assumptions; Interview; Think aloud
Out-of-office blood pressure monitoring is promoted by various clinical guidelines toward properly diagnosing and effectively managing hypertension and engaging the patient in their care process. In the Netherlands, however, the Dutch cardiovascular risk management (CVRM) guidelines do not explicitly prescribe 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure measurement (ABPM) and home BP measurement (HBPM). The aim of this descriptive study was to develop an understanding of patients’ and physicians’ acceptance and use of out-of-office BP monitoring in the Netherlands given the CVRM recommendations.
Three small focus group discussions (FGDs) with patients and 1 FGD with physicians were conducted to explore the mechanisms behind the acceptance and use of out-of-office BP monitoring and reveal real-world challenges that limit the implementation of out-of-office BP monitoring methods. To facilitate the FGDs, an analytical framework based on the technology acceptance model (TAM), the theory of planned behavior and the model of personal computing utilization was developed to guide the FGDs and analysis of the transcriptions of each FGD.
ABPM was the out-of-office BP monitoring method prescribed by physicians and used by patients. HBPM was not offered to patients even with patients’ feedback of poor tolerance of ABPM. Even as there was little awareness about HBPM among patients, there were a few patients who owned and used sphygmomanometers. Patients professed and seemed to exhibit self-efficacy, whereas physicians had reservations about (all of their) patients’ self-efficacy in properly using ABPM. Since negative experience with ABPM impacted patients’ acceptance of ABPM, the interaction of factors that determined acceptance and use was found to be dynamic among patients but not for physicians.
In reference to the CVRM guidelines, physicians implemented out-of-office BP monitoring but showed a strong preference for ABPM even where there is poor tolerance of the method. We found that physicians’ positive attitude to ABPM enabled the use of the method by patients which, in turn, impeded the diffusion of HBPM. For patients, the acceptance process of HBPM can only begin after the physician has adopted the innovation. Physicians are in a position to encourage as well as hinder out-of-office BP monitoring and self-management.
Patient empowerment is crucial in the successful self-management of people with chronic diseases. In this study, we investigated whether discussions about medicine use taking place on online message boards contribute to patient empowerment and could subsequently result in the more effective use of medicines. We discuss the extent to which patient empowerment processes occur in discussions on online message boards, focusing on patients with three disorders with different characteristics: diabetes, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Because information is an important factor in both patient empowerment and self-management, we also evaluate the quality of the information being exchanged.
We used a deductive thematic analysis method based on pre-existing categories. We gathered and analysed 5532 posts related to the conditions ADHD, ALS and diabetes from seven message boards (three for ADHD, three for diabetes, and one for ALS). We coded the posts for empowerment processes and the quality of the information exchanged.
We identified patient empowerment processes in posts related to all three disorders. There is some variation in the frequency of these processes, but they show a similar order in the results: patients used the online message boards to exchange information, share personal experiences and for empathy or support. The type of information shared in these processes could contribute to the patient’s self-efficacy when it comes to medicine use. The exchanged information was either correct or largely harmless. We also observed a tendency whereby participants correct previously posted incorrect information, and refer people to a healthcare professional following a request for medical advice, e.g. concerning the choice of medicines or dosage.
Our findings show that patient empowerment processes occur in posts related to all three disorders. The type of information shared in these processes can contribute to the patient’s self-efficacy when it comes to medicine use. The tendency to refer people to a healthcare professional shows that patients still reserve an important role for healthcare professionals in the care process, despite the development towards more self-management.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12911-015-0146-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Internet; Online support groups; Social media; Online forum; Empowerment; ADHD; ALS; Diabetes
Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) are increasingly used in studies in healthcare research but there is still little empirical evidence for the predictive value of these hypothetical situations in similar real life circumstances. The aim of this paper is to compare the stated preferences in a DCE and the accompanying questionnaire with the revealed preferences of young parents who have to decide whether to vaccinate their new born child against hepatitis B.
A DCE asking parents to decide in which scenario they would be more inclined to vaccinate their child against hepatitis B. The stated preference was estimated by comparing the per respondent utility of the most realistic scenario in which parents could choose to vaccinate their child against hepatitis B, with the utility of the opt-out, based on the mixed logit model from the DCE. This stated preference was compared with the actual behaviour of the parents concerning the vaccination of their new born child.
In 80% of the respondents the stated and revealed preferences corresponded. The positive predictive value is 85% but the negative predictive value is 26%.
The predictive value of the DCE in this study is satisfactory for predicting the positive choice but not for predicting the negative choice. However, the behaviour in this study is exceptional in the sense that most people chose to vaccinate. Future studies should focus on behaviours with a larger variance in the population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12874-015-0010-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
DCE; Predictive value; Stated preferences; Revealed preferences; Vaccination; Hepatitis B
The objective of this study was to assess the predictive value of a discrete choice experiment (DCE) in public health by comparing stated preferences to actual behavior.
780 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients received a questionnaire, containing a DCE with five attributes related to T2DM patients’ willingness to participate in a combined lifestyle intervention. Panel mixed-multinomial-logit models were used to estimate the stated preferences based on 206 completed DCE questionnaires. Actual participation status was retrieved for 54 respondents based on patients’ medical records and a second questionnaire. Predicted and actual behavior data were compared at population level and at individual level.
Based on the estimated utility function, 81.8 % of all answers that individual respondents provided on the choice tasks were predicted correctly. The actual participation rate at the aggregated population level was minimally underestimated (70.1 vs. 75.9 %). Of all individual choices, 74.1 % were predicted correctly with a positive predictive value of 0.80 and a negative predictive value of 0.44.
Stated preferences derived from a DCE can adequately predict actual behavior in a public health setting.
to determine to what extent the inclusion of an opt-out option in a DCE may have an effect on choice behaviour and therefore might influence the attribute level estimates, the relative importance of the attributes and calculated trade-offs.
781 Dutch Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients completed a questionnaire containing nine choice tasks with an opt-out option and nice forced choice tasks. Mixed-logit models were used to estimate the relative importance of the five lifestyle program related attributes that were included. Willingness to pay (WTP) values were calculated and it was tested whether results differed between respondents who answered the choice tasks with an opt-out option in the first or second part of the questionnaire.
21.4% of the respondents always opted out. Respondents who were given the opt-out option in the first part of the questionnaire as well as lower educated respondents significantly more often opted out. For both the forced and unforced choice model, different attributes showed significant estimates, the relative importance of the attributes was equal. However, due to differences in relative importance weights, the WTP values for the PA schedule differed significantly between both datasets.
Results show differences in opting out based on the location of the opt-out option and respondents' educational level; this resulted in small differences between the forced and unforced choice model. Since respondents seem to learn from answering forced choice tasks, a dual response design might result in higher data quality compared to offering a direct opt-out option. Future research should empirically explore how choice sets should be presented to make them as easy and less complex as possible in order to reduce the proportion of respondents that opts-out due to choice task complexity. Moreover, future research should debrief respondents to examine the reasons for choosing the opt-out alternative.
Both out-of-pocket costs and financial rewards can be used to influence health related behavior. However, it is unclear which of these two has a larger effect on health related behavior. The aim of this study was to explore the possible difference in effect size between out-of-pocket costs and financial rewards on the willingness of diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2) patients to participate in a lifestyle program.
A discrete choice experiment (DCE) questionnaire was sent to 767 DM2 patients in a geographically defined area (De Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht) in The Netherlands and completed by 206 of them. The questionnaire comprised of 18 choice tasks of which 9 contained a financial reward for lifestyle program completion, while the other 9 included out-of-pocket costs for program participation. In a second version of the questionnaire, the order of out-of-pocket cost and financial reward choice tasks was counterbalanced to reduce bias with respect to the position (first or second) of the two types of choice tasks. Panel-mixed-multinomial-logit models were used for data analysis.
Increasing out-of-pocket costs were associated with a decreasing willingness to participate in a lifestyle program and, contrary to our expectations, increasing financial rewards were also associated with a decreasing willingness to participate in a lifestyle program. In addition, this willingness to participate changed to the same extent for both increasing out-of-pocket costs and increasing financial rewards.
As expected, increasing out-of-pocket costs may prevent people from deciding to participate in a lifestyle program. However, offering a financial reward to persuade people to participate in a lifestyle program, may result in decreasing willingness to participate in a lifestyle program as well.
Out-of-pocket costs; Financial rewards; Lifestyle programs; Discrete choice experiment; Willingness to participate; Diabetes mellitus type 2
Preventive measures are essential to limit the spread of new viruses; their uptake is key to their success. However, the vaccination uptake in pandemic outbreaks is often low. We aim to elicit how disease and vaccination characteristics determine preferences of the general public for new pandemic vaccinations.
In an internet-based discrete choice experiment (DCE) a representative sample of 536 participants (49% participation rate) from the Dutch population was asked for their preference for vaccination programs in hypothetical communicable disease outbreaks. We used scenarios based on two disease characteristics (susceptibility to and severity of the disease) and five vaccination program characteristics (effectiveness, safety, advice regarding vaccination, media attention, and out-of-pocket costs). The DCE design was based on a literature review, expert interviews and focus group discussions. A panel latent class logit model was used to estimate which trade-offs individuals were willing to make.
All above mentioned characteristics proved to influence respondents’ preferences for vaccination. Preference heterogeneity was substantial. Females who stated that they were never in favor of vaccination made different trade-offs than males who stated that they were (possibly) willing to get vaccinated. As expected, respondents preferred and were willing to pay more for more effective vaccines, especially if the outbreak was more serious (€6–€39 for a 10% more effective vaccine). Changes in effectiveness, out-of-pocket costs and in the body that advises the vaccine all substantially influenced the predicted uptake.
We conclude that various disease and vaccination program characteristics influence respondents’ preferences for pandemic vaccination programs. Agencies responsible for preventive measures during pandemics can use the knowledge that out-of-pocket costs and the way advice is given affect vaccination uptake to improve their plans for future pandemic outbreaks. The preference heterogeneity shows that information regarding vaccination needs to be targeted differently depending on gender and willingness to get vaccinated.
Currently electronic medical records (EMRs) are implemented in hospitals, because of expected benefits for quality and safety of care. However the implementation processes are not unproblematic and are slower than needed. Many of the barriers and facilitators of the adoption of EMRs are identified, but the relative importance of these factors is still undetermined. This paper quantifies the relative importance of known barriers and facilitators of EMR, experienced by the users (i.e., nurses and physicians in hospitals).
A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted among physicians and nurses. Participants answered ten choice sets containing two scenarios. Each scenario included attributes that were based on previously identified barriers in the literature: data entry hardware, technical support, attitude head of department, performance feedback, flexibility of interface, and decision support. Mixed Multinomial Logit analysis was used to determine the relative importance of the attributes.
Data on 148 nurses and 150 physicians showed that high flexibility of the interface was the factor with highest relative importance in their preference to use an EMR. For nurses this attribute was followed by support from the head of department, presence of performance feedback from the EMR and presence of decisions support. While for physicians this ordering was different: presence of decision support was relatively more important than performance feedback and support from the head of department.
Considering the prominent wish of all the intended users for a flexible interface, currently used EMRs only partially comply with the needs of the users, indicating the need for closer incorporation of user needs during development stages of EMRs. The differences in priorities amongst nurses and physicians show that different users have different needs during the implementation of innovations. Hospital management may use this information to design implementation trajectories to fit the needs of various user groups.
Electronic Medical Record; Implementation; Discrete choice experiment; Adopter preferences; Barriers and facilitators; Clinicians
Participation rates of lifestyle programs among type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients are less than optimal around the globe. Whereas research shows notable delays in the development of the disease among lifestyle program participants. Very little is known about the relative importance of barriers for participation as well as the willingness of T2DM patients to pay for participation in such programs. The aim of this study was to identify the preferences of T2DM patients with regard to lifestyle programs and to calculate participants’ willingness to pay (WTP) as well as to estimate the potential participation rates of lifestyle programs.
A Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) questionnaire assessing five different lifestyle program attributes was distributed among 1250 Dutch adults aged 35–65 years with T2DM, 391 questionnaires (31%) were returned and included in the analysis. The relative importance of the program attributes (i.e., meal plan, physical activity (PA) schedule, consultation structure, expected program outcome and out-of-pocket costs) was determined using panel-mixed logit models. Based on the retrieved attribute estimates, patients’ WTP and potential participation rates were determined.
The out-of-pocket costs (β = −0.75, P < .001), consultation structure (β = −0.46, P < .001) and expected outcome (β = 0.72, P < .001) were the most important factors for respondents when deciding whether to participate in a lifestyle program. Respondents were willing to pay €128 per year for individual instead of group consultation and €97 per year for 10 kilograms anticipated weight loss. Potential participation rates for different lifestyle-program scenarios ranged between 48.5% and 62.4%.
When deciding whether to participate in a lifestyle program, T2DM patients are mostly driven by low levels of out-of-pocket costs. Thereafter, they prefer individual consultation and high levels of anticipated outcomes with respect to weight loss.
Discrete choice experiment; Preferences; Diabetes mellitus type 2; Lifestyle program; Participation rate; Willingness to participate; Willingness to pay
Decisions to adopt a particular innovation may vary between stakeholders because individual stakeholders may disagree on the costs and benefits involved. This may translate to disagreement between stakeholders on priorities in the implementation process, possibly explaining the slow diffusion of innovations in health care. In this study, we explore the differences in stakeholder preferences for innovations, and quantify the difference in stakeholder priorities regarding costs and benefits.
The decision support technique called the analytic hierarchy process was used to quantify the preferences of stakeholders for nine information technology (IT) innovations in hospital care. The selection of the innovations was based on a literature review and expert judgments. Decision criteria related to the costs and benefits of the innovations were defined. These criteria were improvement in efficiency, health gains, satisfaction with care process, and investments required. Stakeholders judged the importance of the decision criteria and subsequently prioritized the selected IT innovations according to their expectations of how well the innovations would perform for these decision criteria.
The stakeholder groups (patients, nurses, physicians, managers, health care insurers, and policy makers) had different preference structures for the innovations selected. For instance, self-tests were one of the innovations most preferred by health care insurers and managers, owing to their expected positive impacts on efficiency and health gains. However, physicians, nurses and patients strongly doubted the health gains of self-tests, and accordingly ranked self-tests as the least-preferred innovation.
The various stakeholder groups had different expectations of the value of the nine IT innovations. The differences are likely due to perceived stakeholder benefits of each innovation, and less to the costs to individual stakeholder groups. This study provides a first exploratory quantitative insight into stakeholder positions concerning innovation in health care, and presents a novel way to study differences in stakeholder preferences. The results may be taken into account by decision makers involved in the implementation of innovations.
Implementation; Information technology; Innovation; Hospital care; Stakeholders
Oral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) involves many health care disciplines. Even though collaboration between care professionals is assumed to improve the quality of OAT, very little research has been done into the practice of OAT management to arrange and manage the collaboration. This study aims to identify the problems in collaboration experienced by the care professionals involved, the solutions they proposed to improve collaboration, and the barriers they encountered to the implementation of these solutions.
In the Netherlands, intensive follow-up of OAT is provided by specialized anticoagulant clinics (ACs). Sixty-eight semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 103 professionals working at an AC. These semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively. Wagner's chronic care model (CCM) and Cabana's framework for improvement were used to categorize the results.
AC professionals experienced three main bottlenecks in collaboration: lack of knowledge (mostly of other professionals), lack of consensus on OAT, and limited information exchange between professionals. They mentioned several solutions to improve collaboration, especially solutions of CCM's decision support component (i.e. education, regular meetings, and agreements and protocols). Education is considered a prerequisite for the successful implementation of other proposed solutions such as developing a multidisciplinary protocol and changing the allocation of tasks. The potential of the health care organization to improve collaboration seemed to be underestimated by professionals. They experienced several barriers to the successful implementation of the proposed solutions. Most important barriers were the lack motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time to establish collaboration.
This study revealed that the collaboration in OAT is limited by a lack of knowledge, a lack of consensus, and a limited information exchange. Education was identified as the best way to improve collaboration and considered a prerequisite for a successful implementation of other proposed solutions. Hence, the implementation sequence is of importance in order to improve the collaboration successfully. First step is to establish alignment regarding collaboration with all involved professionals to encounter the lack of motivation of non-AC professionals and lack of time.
Several studies suggest that lifestyle interventions can be effective for people with, or at risk for, diabetes. The participation in lifestyle interventions is generally low. Financial incentives may encourage participation in lifestyle intervention programs.
The main aim of this exploratory analysis is to study empirically potential effects of financial incentives on diabetes patients’ willingness to participate in lifestyle interventions. One financial incentive is negative (“copayment”) and the other incentive is positive (“bonus”). The key part of this research is to contrast both incentives. The second aim is to investigate the factors that influence participation in a lifestyle intervention program.
Conjoint analysis techniques were used to empirically identify factors that influence willingness to participate in a lifestyle intervention. For this purpose diabetic patients received a questionnaire with descriptions of various forms of hypothetical lifestyle interventions. They were asked if they would be willing to participate in these hypothetical programs.
In total, 174 observations were rated by 46 respondents. Analysis showed that money was an important factor independently associated with respondents’ willingness to participate. Receiving a bonus seemed to be associated with a higher willingness to participate, but having to pay was negatively associated with participation in the lifestyle intervention.
Conjoint analysis results suggest that financial considerations may influence willingness to participate in lifestyle intervention programs. Financial disincentives in the form of copayments might discourage participation. Although the positive impact of bonuses is smaller than the negative impact of copayments, bonuses could still be used to encourage willingness to participate.
incentives; bonus; copayment; conjoint analysis; willingness to participate
The oral anticoagulant therapy - provided to prevent thrombosis - is known to be associated with substantial avoidable hospitalization. Improving the quality of the oral anticoagulant therapy could avoid drug related hospitalizations. Therefore, this study compared the patient outcomes between Dutch anticoagulant clinic (AC) regions taking the variation in chronic care management into account in order to explore whether chronic care management elements could improve the quality of oral anticoagulant therapy.
Two data sources were combined. The first source was a questionnaire that was send to all ACs in the Netherlands in 2008 (response = 100%) to identify the application of chronic care management elements in the AC regions. The Chronic Care Model of Wagner was used to make the concept of chronic care management operational. The second source was the report of the Dutch National Network of ACs which contains patient outcomes of the ACs.
Patient outcomes achieved by the ACs were good, yet differences existed; for instance the percentage of patients in the appropriate therapeutic ranges varied from 67 to 87% between AC regions. Moreover, differences existed in the use of chronic care management elements of the chronic care model, for example 12% of the ACs had multidisciplinary meetings and 58% of the ACs had formal agreements with at least one hospital within their region. Patient outcomes were significantly associated with patient orientation and the number of specialized nurses versus doctors (p-values < 0.05). Furthermore, the overall extent to which chronic care management elements were applied was positively associated with patient outcomes (p-values < 0.05).
Substantial differences in the patient outcomes as well as chronic care management of oral anticoagulant therapy existed. Since our results showed a positive association between overall application of chronic care management and patient outcomes, additional research is needed to fully understand the working mechanism of chronic care management.