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BMC Nurs. 2013 Mar 2;12:6. doi: 10.1186/1472-6955-12-6.

Experience of nurses with using eHealth in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan: a qualitative study in primary and secondary healthcare.

Author information

1
The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
2
The Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To improve the quality of health care in remote parts of Pakistan, a research project was initiated in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan using information and communication technology to improve patient care and support continuing education of health providers (eHealth). This paper describes the experience of nurses in using eHealth in their routine practices.

METHODS:

All health centres of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan using eHealth as part of this study, were taken as a single case. These include four primary healthcare centres, three secondary care centres and one medical centre. In-depth interviews were conducted using semi-structured interview guide to study nurses' perspective about using eHealth, and its perceived impact on their professional lives.

RESULTS:

According to the respondents, eHealth enhanced access to care for remote communities, and improved quality of health services by providing opportunities for continuing learning. Nurses also appreciated eHealth for reducing their professional isolation, and providing exposure to new knowledge through teleconsultations and eLearning.The responses categorized under six major headings include: gaps in health services prior to eHealth; role of eHealth in addressing these gaps; benefits of eHealth; challenges in eHealth implementation; community's perception about eHealth; and future recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low-cost and simple eHealth solutions have shown to benefit nurses, and the communities in the remote mountainous regions of Pakistan.

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