September 26, 2022

Background: Noncommunicable disease (NCD) management is critical for reducing attributable health burdens. Although health information technology (HIT) is a crucial strategy to improve chronic disease management, many health care systems have failed in implementing HIT. There has been a lack of research on the implementation process of HIT for chronic disease management.

Objective: We aimed to identify the barriers and facilitators of HIT implementation, analyze how these factors influence the implementation process, and identify key areas for future action. We will develop a framework for understanding implementation determinants to synthesize available evidence.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review to understand the barriers and facilitators of the implementation process. We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane, Embase, Scopus, and CINAHL for studies published between database inception and May 5, 2022. Original studies involving HIT-related interventions for NCD management published in peer-reviewed journals were included. Studies that did not discuss relevant outcome measures or did not have direct contact with or observation of stakeholders were excluded. The analysis was conducted in 2 parts. In part 1, we analyzed how the intrinsic attributes of HIT interventions affect the successfulness of implementation by using the intervention domain of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). In part 2, we focused on the extrinsic factors of HIT using an integrated framework, which was developed based on the CFIR and the levels of change framework by Ferlie and Shortell.

Results: We identified 51 papers with qualitative, mixed-method, and cross-sectional methodologies. Included studies were heterogeneous regarding disease populations and HIT interventions. In part 1, having a relative advantage over existing health care systems was the most prominent intrinsic facilitator (eg, convenience, improvement in quality of care, and increase in access). Poor usability was the most noted intrinsic barrier of HIT. In part 2, we mapped the various factors of implementation to the integrated framework (the coordinates are shown as level of change-CFIR). The key barriers to the extrinsic factors of HIT included health literacy and lack of digital skills (individual-characteristics of individuals). The key facilitators included physicians’ suggestions, cooperation (interpersonal-process), integration into a workflow, and adequate management of data (organizational-inner setting). The importance of health data security was identified. Self-efficacy issues of patients and organizational readiness for implementation were highlighted.

Conclusions: Internal factors of HIT and external human factors of implementation interplay in HIT implementation for chronic disease management. Strategies for improvement include ensuring HIT has a relative advantage over existing health care; tackling usability issues; and addressing underlying socioeconomic, interpersonal, and organizational conditions. Further research should focus on studying various stakeholders, such as service providers and administrative workforces; various disease populations, such as those with obesity and mental diseases; and various countries, including low- and middle-income countries.