Dissertation Abstract

A Study of Factors That are Related to the Use of Microcomputers by Hospital Managers

Publication Number:  AAT8721592
Author:  Boyum, Paula Gail
School:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Date:  1987
Pages:  184
Subject:  Vocational Education

There has recently been a rapid surge in the use of microcomputers by managers of all types of business and industrial settings, including hospitals. Many factors need to be considered by hospital administrators and providers of microcomputer education and training so that microcomputers may be effectively implemented and used.

This study had two purposes: (1) to determine the pattern of microcomputer use by hospital managers, and (2) to identify the organizational, technological, human, and training factors which are related to microcomputer use by managers.

A 36-item survey instrument was sent to the data processing directors of all hospitals in Illinois and to a random sample of financial managers of 20% of Illinois hospitals. Usable responses were received from 141 respondents representing 132 hospitals. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and chi-square analysis were used to analyze the data.

The data revealed that microcomputer use by managers in Illinois hospitals has been limited. Less than one-half of the managers use microcomputers in most of the hospitals studied. Microcomputers are primarily used by hospital managers as standalone units in connection with the use of the popular software applications. Factors found to be related to microcomputer use included: the ratio of number of microcomputers to hospital size, attitude of top administration, opportunity for managers to practice microcomputer applications, location of microcomputers within the hospital, networking of microcomputers to a public data base, the use of microcomputers for communications, mode of data processing used by the hospital, managerial resistance to the use of microcomputers, and the percent of managers who have received training.

Based on these findings, recommendations were made to hospitals and researchers. Recommendations useful for providers of education and training programs included: (1) Greater emphasis should be placed on providing microcomputer training for all managers. (2) Microcomputer training should include training on the use of software packages useful for each of the different levels of managers. (3) Those who provide training should watch for signs of managerial resistance. (4) In addition to training, managers should have release time to practice microcomputer applications.

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