A path analysis study of retention of healthcare professionals in urban India using health information technology
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Abstract Background Healthcare information technology (HIT) applications are being ubiquitously adopted globally and have been indicated to have effects on certain dimensions of recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. Retention of healthcare professionals is affected by their job satisfaction (JS), commitment to the organization and intention to stay (ITS) that are interlinked with each other and influenced by many factors related to job, personal, organization, etc. The objectives of the current study were to determine if HIT was one among the factors and, if so, propose a probable retention model that incorporates implementation and use of HIT as a strategy. Methods This was a cross-sectional survey study covering 20 hospitals from urban areas of India. The sample (n = 586) consisted of doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital administrators. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire. Factors affecting job satisfaction were determined. Technology acceptance by the healthcare professionals was also determined. Interactions between the factors were predicted using a path analysis model. Results The overall satisfaction rate of the respondents was 51 %. Based on factor analysis method, 10 factors were identified for JS and 9 factors for ITS. Availability and use of information technology was one factor that affected JS. The need for implementing technology influenced ITS through work environment and career growth. Also, the study indicated that nearly 70 % of the respondents had awareness of HIT, but only 40 % used them. The importance of providing training for HIT applications was stressed by many respondents. Conclusion The results are in agreement with literature studies exploring job satisfaction and retention among healthcare professionals. Our study documented a relatively medium level of job satisfaction among the healthcare professionals in the urban area. Information technology was found to be one among the factors that can plausibly influence their job satisfaction and intention to stay. Based on the results of the study, a retention strategy has been suggested that utilizes implementation of HIT and provision of training to influence the retention of healthcare workers.