Although hospice volunteer programs contribute to patient care, little is known about their utilization and adaptation of technology. A survey was posted to the Hospice Volunteer Association Web site to assess technology use among volunteer coordinators and volunteers. Results revealed that participants have access to computers, Internet, and e-mail at the hospice agency and routinely use cellular phones and e-mail. Despite the use of technology, communication problems with volunteers hindered the coordinator's ability to manage scheduling, training, and volunteer assignments for patient care. Coordinators and volunteers felt comfortable utilizing technology but were less comfortable using technology in the patients' home. Several areas are identified for development and integration of advanced technology in volunteer programs. Future research is needed to ease technology implementation and increase volunteer acceptance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many speak of the digital divide, but variation in the opportunity of patients to use the Internet for health (patient eHealth readiness) is not a binary difference, rather a distribution influenced by personal capability, provision of services, support, and cost. Digital divisions in health have been addressed by various initiatives, but there was no comprehensive validated measure to know if they are effective that could be used in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) covering both non-Internet-users and the range of Internet-users.
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