Awareness And Use Of Electronic Health Records Management Among Health Workers For Administrative Effectiveness In Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State
This study was carried out on awareness and use of electronic health records management among health workers for administrative effectiveness in Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State. The research examine awareness and use of electronic health records management among health workers for administrative effectiveness. This study adopted a cross sectional survey design. Seventy-eight (78) questionnaire were distributed to professionals in which Fifty (50) were recovered. Data were analyzed using frequency and simple percentages table. Findings revealed that they are aware and also they make use of electronic health records management for administrative effectiveness. Based on findings, the following recommendations were made: that electronic file locator system for effective filing of health records should also be designed to ease physical carrying of files. There should be an engagement of more professional hands in the handling of health information and patient related information in the hospital. Electronic appointment and reminder systems should also be included and used in the hospital. Suggestions were made for further studies which include the gain of electronic patient appointment, also the gains of electronic filing system.
1.1 Background of the study
In this modern age, the exponential increase of information volume has transformed the manner in which organizations, both public and private is carrying out their businesses, (Turney, Robinson, Lee & Soutar, 2009). Significant changes have taken place in the nature of the information being generated, stored, processed and distributed (Asogwa, 2013; Muaadh & Zawiyah, 2015). Although, technology can help to manage the creation and the processing of information, if used without understanding the records and information management principle, will only invite haphazard effect (Mnjama & Wamukoya, 2008)
Records management is very important for the public sector since it serves as an important tool for good business governance and efficient administration. Records provide information for improved planning and decision-making. Records also provide evidence for government accountability and transparency, and are often subject to specific legal requirements. In government bodies, records document what is done when, why and also provide evidence of communications, decisions and actions. In the process, some of the records the government officers make will be retained as national and provincial archives, (Bhana, 2008).
Health records in manual or automated form, houses the medical information that describes all aspects of patient care. It is an essential tool in running the day to day activities of the organization. It is needed in carrying out business operations in offices, hospitals of private and public sector organizations. (Huffman 1994). The introduction of information technologies into business, health institutions and government has resulted in an information explosion, and caused an increase in records volume of incredible proportions. Hospitals and offices are most affected by this growth since much of the information is channeled into business, health care and government offices in the form of records for administrative effectiveness.
The records managers and other category of staff in all the establishments, private or public health institutions and government offices need records and archives for planning, decision making and control. No organization can succeed in the present day business environment that is characterized with uncertainty, high risk, denial and increase crime rate, without functioning records and archive managements. Majority of the information needed for the smooth running of an organization are buried in the internally and externally generated records. Records are the corporate memory of the organization that created them and they are used to supplement human memory. Records is a documented evidence of our daily activities, it is a document, regardless of form or medium created, received, maintained and used by an organization (public or private) or an individual in pursuance of legal obligation, or in the transaction of business of which it forms a part or provides an evidence.(Popoola 2000). Records is a written account of facts, events, official facts written down at the time they occurred, and stored or preserved in writing as authentic evidence, set down in writing for future reference, preserve for use by writing or in other ways e.g. on a disc and other electronic media. It can also be likened to a history book which contains facts of past and present events which would be referred to by future generation (Akanji 1994).
Health information is one of the key factors that contribute to the strengthening of health care delivery in every country. Reliable health information leads to timely health policies and planning, which improves the general health status of a country, as well as, serving as a vital element for individual health facilities in managing and improving healthcare delivery (Teviu, Aikins, Abdulia, et al., 2012).
The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in improving the general management of health information cannot be downplayed. This is affirmed by the ability of ICTs to capture, store, retrieve, analyze and transmit large volumes of health information across various locations (Norman, Aikens & Binka, 2011). The adoption of ICTs in healthcare delivery, which could generally be referred to as e-health, has not only been crowed generally as eminent in improving the reliability and effectiveness of health information, but it has also been gloated for strengthening healthcare delivery systems through its various tailor-made innovative applications and program such as the electronic health records (Yusif & Soar, 2014).
Electronic health record (EHR) systems, which have the potential of improving the quality and reliability of health information and communication and the overall quality of healthcare services, are also not left out in the ICT implementation in the Nigerian healthcare system. EHR systems such as Health Administration Management System (HAMS), District Health Information System (DHIS), District Health Information Management System (DHIMS), Health Information Management systems (HIMS) and Hospital administration Management Systems are some of the implemented electronic health records system (Afrikumah, 2014; IICD, 2014). Although, some of these systems such as the DHIS and DHIMS are implemented nationwide to generate health information to facilitate health policies and interventions other electronic health records are locally produced, and implemented in individual health institutions in the country to help improve their health records and address some of the challenges faced with the paper-based records (IICD, 2014).
Electronic Records Management (ERM) has become mandatory for government agencies in applying electronic records in administration to encourage E- government. Most organizations have huge allocation for ICT development. Mismanagement of records seems to be the main problem caused by poor recordkeeping and lack of attention. Umi & Zawiyah (2009) reported that not all government departments possess electronic records management policy; some electronic records are far from complete, clear or easy to access. Many organizations are carrying out electronic records management without any policy in place. Rick (2006) found that records and information are not managed as agency business assets. Records management is not viewed as critical to agency mission or incorporated into automated business processes in a timely manner. There is a low support for records management that has led to a lack of training, tools, and guidelines for all staff, as well poor integration of records management and Information Technology (IT) disciplines.
The lack of awareness among administrators has made it difficult to establish electronic records management programme. Staff are not fully informed and trained about electronic records management. This has led to a lack of training, tools, and guidance for all staff, as well poor integration of records management and Information Technology (IT) disciplines. According to Raja Abdullah Yaacob (2007), policies, standard and procedures are vital to ensure records management program can be implemented efficiently and effectively in organizations. However, less attention was given to records management although records and information management is an important element to help improve the performance, accountability and transparency of an organization (Umi & Zawiyah, 2009). In addition, Ahmad and Othman (2006) reported that one of the challenges in e-government is some government department do not recognize ICT expenditure as an investment. This will create a barrier for implementation of the ERM in organization.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its associated facilities have grown rapidly in the provision and delivery of healthcare services over the last few decades. Paper-based records are fast giving way to electronic health records (EHR) in most developed countries and crawling gradually into the developing countries.
The EHR is designed to alleviate the limitations associated with the paper record system and help improve the quality of care delivered (Tang & McDonald, 2006; Meum, Wangensteen, Soleng, & Wynn, 2011). A study conducted by More (1990) revealed that, the implementation of large-scale information technology projects such as EHRs were associated with a 30% or higher failure rate. This challenge can be said to be even higher in developing countries (Vargneses & Scotte, 2004). Organizational and human factors are noted to contribute immensely to this challenge and not limited to technological factors (Gagnon, Duplantie, Fortin, & Landry, 2006; Obstfelder, Engeseth, & Wynn, 2007).
In manual records, it is also established that the greatest issue is lack of space for the increasing number of health records. With concern to physical space for storage of paper health records, it has been a challenge that many institutions keep battling with. Hospitals producing hundreds to thousands of records each day means that after a given period of time the records accumulate huge volumes of paper records. This may bring about difficulty in locating some records and also lack of sufficient space to carry all the records before they are disposed. This becomes the major challenge for paper records. Hence, there is need for the awareness and effective use of electronic records management system for administrative effectiveness in Nigerian technological health care services.
1.3 Aims and Objectives
1.3.1 Broad Objective
The broad objective of this study is examine the awareness and use of electronic records management among health workers for administrative effectiveness in Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State.
1.3.2 Objectives of the Study
This project is set:
- To assess the effectiveness of electronic records management at the Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State.
- To examine the level of awareness of electronic records management awareness among the staff of Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State in using electronic records.
- To determine the level of administrative effectiveness
1.4 Research Questions
To carry out this project successfully, the following questions were raised:
- Does Eku Baptist Government Hospital assess their electronic records management?
- What is Eku Baptist Government Hospital staffs level of records management awareness in using electronic records management?
- Does electronic records management improve the level of administrative effectiveness in Eku Baptist Government Hospital?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- H0: There is no significant effect of awareness of electronic health records management on administrative effectiveness among Eku Baptist Government Hospital staff.
- H1: There is no significant effect of awareness of electronic health records management on administrative effectiveness among Eku Baptist Government Hospital staff.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be very significant to different stakeholders. The study will help management of Eku Baptist Government Hospital to sensitize the healthcare workers on the importance of effective records management practices. Again, the study will benefit the management of Eku Baptist Government Hospital to appreciate the challenges associated with records management and to address them. It would also help students and the general public to know the importance of proper records management especially with the use of electronic record management. Furthermore, the study will help reveal the need for good records management for effective planning of Eku Baptist Government Hospital to ensure rapid growth and development. Also, the study will help in providing the government with quick and accurate data for effective policy formulation and regulation. Lastly, it will also add to the body of knowledge in the area of records management for health care services.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work covers the awareness and use of electronic health records among health workers of Eku Government Baptist Hospital.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The time limit and finance was a major problem in covering the study as work was combined with the academic work. The global pandemic, Covid-19 with its safety protocols and advisories.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Knowledge of Eku Government Baptist Hospital’s health workers of electronic health records.
Application of electronic health records management by the health workers for administrative effectiveness.
Electronic record management system (ERM):
Is an automated information system for the organized collection, processing, transmission, and dissemination of information in accordance with defined procedures.
Health Practitioner using electronic health management in Eku Baptist Hospital
Rendering quality health care services to patients in Eku Government Baptist Hospital
A written account of facts, events, official facts written down at the time they occurred, and stored or preserved in writing as authentic evidence, set down in writing for future reference, preserve for use by writing or in other ways by the staff of Eku Baptist Government Hospital.
Refers to records that are dependable on relevant machines for access or reading that is computer hardware and software such as e-mails, database and word processing.
Is the task of ensuring that recorded information, paper and electronic, is managed economically and efficiently.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for further studies based on the findings of this study.
5.2 Summary of the Findings
This study was carried out to examine the level of awareness and use of electronic health records management among health workers for administrative effectiveness in Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State. To achieve this objective, three research questions and one research hypothesis were formulated to guide this study. A structured questionnaire was used as the major instruments to obtained data from 78 selected healthcare workers in Eku Baptist Government Hospital, Eku Delta State. Out of this number, 50(64.1%) copies of questionnaire were appropriately completed and returned to the researcher while 28(35.9%) copies of questionnaire were appropriately completed and returned for data analysis.
The data collected from the respondents were analyzed using simple percentage and tables to analyze the research questions while Chi-square statistical tool was employ to the research hypothesis. The findings revealed that there is a significant effect of awareness of electronic health records management on administrative effectiveness among Eku Baptist Government Hospital staff.
Based on the findings of this study and subsequent recommendations, it is concluded that prompt access to patients’ medical records through electronic health information system platform is highly essential in medical care decisions to achieve efficient care delivery within health facilities, reduces the risk of treatment errors decreases patient waiting time and reduces medical errors, enhances timely communication among practitioners, enhances healthcare service delivery and protects information from unauthorised personnel.
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made:
- The hospital management and government at various levels should prioritise the provision of necessary infrastructure in the health capital budget to support the adoption and implementation of the electronic health information system and electronic medical records management.
- Electronic file locator system for effective filing of health records should also be designed to ease physical carrying of files.
- There should be an engagement of more professional hands in the handling of health information and patient related information in the hospital. Electronic appointment and reminder systems should also be included and used in the hospital.
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