Nurses' attitude toward health information systems in a private hospital
Shopo, Khumoetsile Daphney
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Background: Health information systems (HIS’) are necessary in South Africa. South Africa is a country which is crippled by a quadruple disease burden and on the verge of implementing National Health Insurance (NHI) systems. HIS’ is a reality and was implemented over a decade ago as a response by the National Department of Health (NDoH) to obtain information for efficient managerial decision-making. However, South Africa is still faced with both public and private sector health systems that are not interoperable. HIS’ on the international front are far more advanced with their data being fully comprehensive and integrated. The United States of America (USA) are using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and is mandated for the universal adoption of EHRs within five years in each medical clinic and hospital. This mandate was due to the usefulness of health information technology and the huge investment done towards the much needed infrastructure. Numerous studies have been documented from developed countries regarding nurses’ attitudes from recent literature. The role of people as users of HIS’ has been explored through various national and international studies; however, limited research is available on the attitudes of nurses towards HIS’. This research looks into the attitudes of nurses with regards to the use of HIS’ in a private hospital. Methods: This research followed a qualitative design using interpretive descriptive and contextual strategies. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted (n=14) with nurses from all of the categories at a North West private hospital regarding their attitudes towards HIS’. The eligible participants were selected purposefully from the target population with a view that they would be able to inform research. Transcribed interviews underwent content analysis and a consensus discussion was conducted. Results: The research yielded interesting results. Seven themes with several subthemes could be formulated. All the participants had positive attitudes and were generally interested in using HIS’ in their nursing duties. Unique findings include realities that HIS’ bring into the caring ethos of nursing and the interoperability of HIS’. The revised technology acceptance model (TAM2) which underpinned the framework proved not to be applicable in the context of this research. Conclusion: The study confirmed that nurses have positive attitudes towards using HIS’ and that several factors enable or enhance that. The findings are congruent with several studies done in both the public and private health sectors globally. The enablers included the support from colleagues, management and information technology (IT) personnel. Contrary to other studies, the age, previous experience or nurse category does not have an impact on the attitude of nurses or their inclination to use the system.
- Health Sciences