An Exploratory Study of the Readiness of Public Healthcare Facilities in Developing Countries to Adopt Health Information Technology (HIT)/e-Health: the Case of Ghana

Abstract

There are myriad of factors used in assessing health information technology (HIT)/e-Health of healthcare institutions in developing countries and beyond. In this paper, we intended to identify and gain a deeper understanding of factors used in assessing HIT/e-Health readiness in developing countries through the identification of contextual attributes using Ghana as an exemplary developing country. Through in-depth interviews using aide memoire as interview guide, we explored Core readiness, Engagement readiness, Technological readiness, HIT funding readiness, Regulatory and policy readiness, Workforce readiness and Change Management readiness. We adapted the systematic thematic analysis of qualitative data guide suggested by Braun and Clarke (2013) and O’Connor and Gibson (Pimatisiwin 1: 63–90, 2003) in order to generate codes and build over-arching themes. While Organizational cultural readiness was found to be a more applicable theme/factor in place of Engagement readiness and Change management readiness, Resource readiness wasalso deemed a more appropriate theme for HIT funding readiness and Workforce readiness respectively. A total of 23 factors likely to promote HIT adoption in Ghana and 29 factors capable of impeding HIT adoption in Ghana and potentially in other developing countries were identified. For effective assessment of HIT readiness factors, there is a critical need for a deeper understanding of their applicability in differing settings. The outcome of this study offers a valuable insight into improving circumstances under which HIT/e-Health is adopted. When effectually carried out, assessment of this nature could be help side-step losses on large money, effort, time, delay and importantly, dissatisfaction among stakeholders while enabling change processes healthcare institutions and communities involved. This study also contributes to the limited literature on HIT/e-Health implementation scenarios while offering basis for theory-building.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    e-Health and health information technology have been used interchangeably. For the purpose of this study they are considered to mean the same.

  2. 2.

    Individuals who are or have been involved in e-Health related projects

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) and the management and staff of participating healthcare organizations.

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Correspondence to Salifu Yusif.

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For this research, ethical approvals were obtained from USQ Human and Ethics application committee granted approval for the project (H13REA149) as well as the Committee on Human Research, Publication and Ethics Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (CHRPE/AP/119/17), Ghana.

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Appendices

Appendices

Appendix 1 Sample for qualitative data collection
Appendix 2 Summary of factors promoting and impeding HIT adoption in Ghana

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Yusif, S., Hafeez-Baig, A. & Soar, J. An Exploratory Study of the Readiness of Public Healthcare Facilities in Developing Countries to Adopt Health Information Technology (HIT)/e-Health: the Case of Ghana. J Healthc Inform Res 4, 189–214 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41666-020-00070-8

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Keywords

  • HIT/e-Health
  • Ghana
  • Developing countries
  • Public healthcare organizations
  • Readiness assessment