The Attitude towards and Use of Electronic Medical Record System by Health Professionals at a Referral Hospital in Northern Ethiopia: Cross-Sectional Study
Background and Purpose: Electronic medical record (EMR) systems are increasingly incorporated into the healthcare systems of developing countries to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare institutions. Inaccuracy, non-timeliness, incompleteness and inconsistency of paper-based data are basic triggering points to adopt EMRs in developing countries. The purpose of this study was to assess the attitude, use, and hindering factors of health professionals’ use of EMR in one referral hospital in Ethiopia that has used the EMR for the last two years.
Methods: An institutional based cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted in March 2014 among 501 health professionals. Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were entered and analysed using Epi-Info version 7 and SPSS version 20 respectively. Descriptive statistics were computed to describe study variables. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to show the presence of association between the study and outcome variables. Odds ratio at 95% confidence level was used to describe the strength of association.
Results: A total of 428 health professionals participated in the study with a response rate of 86%. The majority, 318 (74.3%) were computer literate and more than half, 246 (57.5%) of them had computer access. A large number (71.0%) of respondents used EMR and more than half (56.1%) had a good attitude towards it. Health professionals’ age, computer literacy, computer assess, working experience, regular meeting and training on the EMR system were significant factors (p-value <0.05) to the attitude and use of EMR system. Educational level, knowledge on EMR and using EMR were also variables affecting users’ attitude towards EMR.
Conclusions: Majority of the respondents used the EMR system in their daily works and more than half of them had a good attitude towards EMR. Technical (computer literacy, knowledge), organizational (computer access, infrastructure, training access, regular meeting, management support), and personal (age, working experience) variables are significant factors to develop a good attitude towards and high use of the system. Improving skills, awareness, infrastructure, management and resource allocation are important interventions to improve the EMR system performance and positive attitude towards health professionals in the study area.
Keywords: Electronic Medical Record, Ethiopia, Attitude.
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