Hospital Information System Utilization in Iran: a Qualitative Study
Hospital information system (HIS) should ideally allow different forms of data to be stored and used for decision making by clinicians and managers alike. This system has been developed since the early 1980's, and many hospitals gradually converted from an unrelated system into an integrated one. In successful implementation of HIS plans, the role of human factors, either individually or as a group, is expected to be very important and decisive. In this phenomenological qualitative research, in-depth personal interviews were conducted with the hospital's senior managers, and discussions were conducted in six to eight member focus groups. To include participants for interviews, purposive sampling was used in an Iranian hospital among doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers who had experience in using HIS. Data collection continued until saturation stage. The meetings took about 90 to 120 minutes, in which the participants were asked about discovering needs as well as facilitating and inhibiting factors regarding HIS application. Two members of the research team independently analyzed the interview transcripts. As a result, problems in HIS isolation were reported to be related to the following: software, hardware, manpower, management and training. About the last point, it was stated that adequate continuing professional development programs did not exist for proper use of computers in the hospital. To achieve the ultimate goal of HISs (e.g. increasing patient satisfaction and decreasing hospital costs), it is necessary to create basic changes in the training system, and to get feedback from hospital personnel. Other steps include addressing software and hardware shortcomings as well as moving towards reinforcing the facilitating factors and refraining from inhibiting ones discovered in this study.
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