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Health information systems in Namibia

Health information systems in Namibia This paper aims to report some findings of a study that investigated health information systems (HISs) in Namibia with a view of establishing the nature of these systems and coming up with recommendations on how these could be enhanced.Design/methodology/approachThis study applied a mixed methods research approach, using interviews and survey questionnaire to collect data. Survey data were analysed for descriptive statistics using SPSS and data from interviews were analysed applying content analysis for data analysis.FindingsThe findings of this study indicate fragmented HISs resulting in duplication of diagnosis, tests and treatment. The findings show that there were errors in capturing data into the systems, which could compromise the reliability of the data and compromise service delivery.Research limitations/implicationsThis study was limited to two (Khomas and Oshana) of the fourteen regions in Namibia; therefore, further studies could look at other regions, as the study findings cannot be generalised to the entire country.Practical implicationsThe findings and recommendations, particularly those relating to the public health sector, could inform policies and procedures, especially those relating to the patient health passport (card), and the way health information is shared within and across health sectors.Originality/valueThis study focused on health information sharing, whereas a previous study on HISs concentrated on quality of healthcare. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information and Learning Science Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-5348
DOI
10.1108/ils-03-2018-0015
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to report some findings of a study that investigated health information systems (HISs) in Namibia with a view of establishing the nature of these systems and coming up with recommendations on how these could be enhanced.Design/methodology/approachThis study applied a mixed methods research approach, using interviews and survey questionnaire to collect data. Survey data were analysed for descriptive statistics using SPSS and data from interviews were analysed applying content analysis for data analysis.FindingsThe findings of this study indicate fragmented HISs resulting in duplication of diagnosis, tests and treatment. The findings show that there were errors in capturing data into the systems, which could compromise the reliability of the data and compromise service delivery.Research limitations/implicationsThis study was limited to two (Khomas and Oshana) of the fourteen regions in Namibia; therefore, further studies could look at other regions, as the study findings cannot be generalised to the entire country.Practical implicationsThe findings and recommendations, particularly those relating to the public health sector, could inform policies and procedures, especially those relating to the patient health passport (card), and the way health information is shared within and across health sectors.Originality/valueThis study focused on health information sharing, whereas a previous study on HISs concentrated on quality of healthcare.

Journal

Information and Learning ScienceEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 20, 2018

Keywords: Health systems; Health information; Namibia; Electronic health record; Health information systems; Patient record

References