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Telemed J E Health. 2013 Feb;19(2):122-8. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2012.0071. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

E-health implementation challenges in Iranian medical centers: a qualitative study in Iran.

Author information

1
Faculty of Management and Human Resource, Malaysia Technological University, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. sharifi1400@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

E-health encompasses a wide scope and has excellent potential to grow in the future. Growing numbers of experts believe that e-health will fuel the next breakthroughs in health system improvements throughout the world. There is frequent evidence that largely indicates failures or unsustainable e-health implementations in different countries for different reasons. Iran is also a developing country that is presently applying this promising technology for its traditional healthcare delivery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Two phases of research have been carried out for this study. In the first phase, a general Internet search was performed in different databases to extract e-health implementation activities in the world, particularly in Iran. MEDLINE and laboratory research were used for this purpose, using the key words "information technology," "e-health," "health IT," "health informatics," "health," and "Iran." In the second phase, a panel of experts from Isfahan, Iran, who specialized in e-health applications, was selected for a qualitative survey.

RESULTS:

Efficient administration of e-health implementation improves the quality of healthcare, reduces costs and medical errors, and enables transfer of healthcare resources to rural areas, among other benefits. However, there are numerous issues affecting the successful implementation of e-health such as lack of standardized e-health applications, deployment costs, training costs, legal challenges, privacy and security fears, implementation and acceptance time of such applications, technical difficulties, educational issues, resistance to change, and pilot projects or small implementations with limited numbers of patients in healthcare organizations.

CONCLUSIONS:

The implementation of e-health in Iran, particularly Isfahan, is subject to similar challenges as in other countries throughout the world. Hence, e-health implementers need to adhere to the proposed solutions in order to overcome the mentioned challenges in such complex projects.

PMID:
23374035
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2012.0071
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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