Factors impacting the adoption and potential reimbursement of a Virtual Reality tool for Pain Management in Switzerland: a qualitative case study
While efficacy of a new medical tool is the base for clinical use, it does not ensure adoption. Especially the adoption of mHealth tools is impacted by a variety of factors. This study aims to find the most prevalent facilitators and barriers affecting the adoption of a VR tool for pain treatment.
Josefine Lurtz, 2023
Bachelor Thesis, Inselspital
Betreuende Dozierende: Christine Jacob
Keywords: Digital Health, Virtual Reality, Pain Management
With pain and its adequate treatment being an issue in hospitals and emergency departments (ED), virtual reality (VR) can be a tool to manage pain as a complement to common pharmaceutical analgesics. While the tools efficacy could be demonstrated in previous studies, this does not assure clinical adoption in Swiss emergency departments.
Therefore, this study investigates, which factors impact the adoption of virtual reality for pain management in Swiss ED‘s, in the form of a case study with the Inselspital in Bern. The research is conducted on the base of an adoption model for mHealth tools and utilizes literature in combination with semi-structured stakeholder interviews. Thereby, the study synthesizes key factors which act as facilitators and barriers to clinical adoption. To utilize the full potential of facilitators and mitigate the effects of barriers, four measures are proposed.
The synthesis revealed three key facilitators: the organizational environment, a combination of tension for change and demonstrability of the tools efficacy, as well as employee engagement. Main adoption inhibiting effects were observed to stem from high workload, the interrelation of workflow and habit, and the lack of reimbursement.
The study proposes four measures:
1) To foster the beneficial organizational impact, an incentive structure within the ED to drive the adoption of new tools such as VR for pain management allows for an external push towards adoption.
2) The introduction of a specific ambassador role is proposed, as a further extrinsic push factor. They could remind staff of the tools efficacy and support in the application process.
3) Further investigation is proposed regarding the potential of the VR tool to support clinical staff in allocating their time as effectively as possible, thereby potentially changing the perception of the tool as additional workload.
4) In the short term, the lack of reimbursement through the obligatory health insurance may be overcome through 3). In the long term advocacy work to shape the new tariff system for reimbursement is advised.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
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