Adoption of Electronic Medical Records in Tertiary Health Care Centres: A Survey of Federal Medical Centres in South-South Nigeria
Keywords:Adoption, Electronic Medical Records, Medical Centre, Federal Medical Centre, Bayelsa State, Delta State, Nigeria
The study investigated the adoption of electronic medical records in Federal Medical Centres in Bayelsa and Delta States of Nigeria. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. One hundred and nineteen staff of Departments of Health Records and Information Management of both medical centres participated in the study. Online questionnaire was used for data collection. One hundred and thirty-four soft copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the respondents via personal whatsapp accounts of the respondents and whatsapp platforms of the Health Information Managers Association of Nigeria and the Association of Health Records and Information Management Practitioners of Nigeria to which the respondents belonged. One hundred and nineteen questionnaires were properly completed, retrieved and found usable for data analysis. This produced a response rate of 88.81 %. The data collected were analyzed using weighted mean and standard deviation. Findings showed that the extent of adoption of electronic medical records in the medical centres was low; benefits derived from adoption, which were not perceived much differently by the sampled staff, were enhanced healthcare service delivery/access to medical information, saving of records storage space/cost of medical care, speeding up of treatment process, improvement of confidentiality/security of medical information/timely communication among medical practitioners, reduction of treatment error risk/ patients’ mortality rate/patients’ waiting time and facilitation of clinical decision making; challenges encountered in adoption, which were seen much differently by the records personnel, were poor internet connectivity or network, high cost of ICT equipment, low technical expertise, lack of funds/training/uniform standards and poor power supply.
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