Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the primary care workforce shortage in 2025 will exceed 46,000 primary care physicians. Healthcare business leaders in Gwinnett County, Georgia have not evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine (TM) to mitigate the workforce shortage. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to determine factors primary care physician administrators consider when deciding to implement TM as a potential solution for the growing physician shortage. A purposive sample of 20 primary care physician administrators located in Gwinnett County, Georgia was drawn. The theory of disruptive technology was the conceptual framework. Data collected stemmed from semistructured interviews with each participant and review of organizational plans and workflow documents. Data were recorded, transcribed, and coded to develop themes. Three themes morphed from the study: TM awareness and education, TM cost and reimbursement, and TM implementation and utilization. Results indicated that awareness and education of leaders toward TM requires improvement, costs, and reimbursement were variables for deciding to implement or not implement TM, and TM implementation requires knowing the appropriate use of TM. The implications for positive social change include the potential for primary care physician administrators to positively influence the healthcare workforce shortage by adding flexibility to manage patient workflow with TM. Additionally, the potential for physician administrators to utilize TM for healthcare access, creating savings in transportation, energy consumption, and resource optimization, may provide better access to hard-to-reach populations.