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Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2011;8:1b. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Annual survey on the level and extent of usage of electronic health records in government-related hospitals in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

Author information

1
College of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

This study aims to determine the level and extent of usage of electronic health records (EHRs) in government-related hospitals in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Another aim is to develop a Web site to serve as a forum of exchange on the development of EHRs in Saudi Arabia. All government hospitals (n = 19) in the province were included. The information technology (IT) managers in those hospitals made up the target population. An online questionnaire was developed, and the IT managers in all 19 government hospitals were invited to participate in the survey. The responses from the online survey were downloaded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Of the 19 hospitals, only three (15.8 percent) use EHRs. These hospitals were established in 1984, 1995, and 2005. All three of these hospitals have implemented the same EHR software and were using it successfully, and all three were using the three core features of laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy electronic modules. Some modules were present in the EHR system but were underutilized. Some of the main challenges faced by the IT managers in implementing EHRs in their hospitals were related to the uncooperative attitudes of some physicians and nurses toward EHRs. In fulfillment of the second aim of the study, a Web site, http://ehr2011.weebly.com, was developed to serve as a forum for exchange of information on the development of EHRs in Saudi Arabia. The government of Saudi Arabia has prioritized the development of eHealth (health information technology) and allocated committed funding for it during 2008-2011. During this period, some sectors of government made highly commendable efforts in developing eHealth services. Along these lines, we had hoped to see higher uptake of EHRs than the 15.8 percent found in this study. The rate of implementing EHRs in government hospitals should be accelerated. The aim should be on achieving some basic EHR functionality in these hospitals, and once this has been achieved, additional functionality can be pursued in stages.

KEYWORDS:

Saudi Arabia; electronic health record

PMID:
22016668
PMCID:
PMC3193507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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