EXPLORING THE ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS ON THE DIFFUSION OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON ROBOTIC SURGERY

Americo Cicchetti, Valentina Iacopino, Daniele Mascia, Ilaria Piconi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Objective: Medical technologies are significant components of healthcare costs. Literature indicated that organizational and professional factors play role to understand patterns of diffusion, but there is still a scant of knowledge on how professional factors influence the adoption. This study aims to understand how inter-physician relations affect the adoption of a robotic surgical system in the Italian National Health Service (NHS). Methods: This study is part of the Research Project financed by the Italian National Agency for Regional Healthcare (Age.Na.S) entitled “Tools and methods to regulate the processes of technological, clinical and organizational innovation in the NHS. An integrated system of research”. Through a systematic literature review we identified the specialties using the surgical system. We sampled potential adopters, submitting a sociometric questionnaire to medical directors. We gathered data on physicians’ attributional characteristics, first and current use, perceived determinants of adoption and the social networks through which information are exchanged. Forty physicians completed the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and social network analysis techniques were used. Results: Professional ties play a major role for technology adoption and diffusion. The first adoption is influenced by “word of mouth” and scientific articles, suggesting the attitude towards evidence-based medicine. The current level of adoption is significantly correlated to the ties with colleagues. Our analysis unravels the presence of opinion leaders in the network and the variability in the year of first adoption and the patterns of diffusion. Conclusion: Our study provides contribution to the healthcare management literature. Firstly, the integration should enhance the diffusion and sustainability of innovation within healthcare organizations. Secondly, policy makers who easily identify opinion leaders should implement strategies to facilitate the diffusion of technologies as well as to hinder the adoption of those whose effectiveness appears questionable. We greatly acknowledge Thomas Jefferson, head of the Age.Na.S research project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHTA for Health Systems Sustainability
Pages1-461
Number of pages461
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventHTAi Annual Meeting - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 27 Jun 201129 May 2015

Conference

ConferenceHTAi Annual Meeting
CityRio de Janeiro
Period27/6/1129/5/15

Keywords

  • Health Technologies
  • Professional Networks

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