Level of Professional Awareness among Health Record Officers in Bayelsa State and Their Implications for Patient Care, Health Systems, and Health Policy
Keywords:Professional Awareness, Health Policy, Electronic Health Record Management, Confidentiality, Quality of Care, Patient Care, Niger Delta
As Electronic health records (EHRs) become more commonplace, and are expected to play a key role in improving the quality of Nigeria health care. Thus, EHRs can improve quality of care delivery in numerous ways such as providing accurate and up-to-date patient information and medical knowledge, rapid retrieval of health information, ability to exchange health information to all authorized participants within or across organizations, automated clinical reminders, improved adherence to treatment guidelines, and accumulation of data for quality monitoring and improvement. Based on regulatory and governmental recommendations, the EHR is being adapted in an increasing number of academic institutions (NDUTH), government hospitals (FMC) and private practice settings. It is incumbent upon HIM leadership to ensure students are skillful users of the technologies that will be in place as they care for patients. The study aimed to explore, identify and understand critical awareness of electronic health records management level to ensure confidentiality in public health care sector (FMC & NDUTH) in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The cross-sectional descriptive design was used and a total of 159 health professionals who represented a variety of user groups across different specialties within the hospital completed the questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed. both descriptively and inferentially. Frequency and percentages were used to analyse the data and the result presented in tables. Data analysis was facilitated using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20.0). Majority of the respondents (90.6%) were aware of the electronic health record management among health record officers. To ensure continuity of care, it is necessary to develop educational and manageable program to improve EHR awareness. The findings may inform other hospitals and healthcare systems on actions that can be taken prior to EHR implementation to reduce concerns for quality, confidentiality, safety of patient care and improve the chance of successful implementation.
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