Researchers have discovered an upward spiral in healthcare providers’ acknowledgment, understanding, and willingness to embrace Electronic Health Record (EHR), mainly due to the emergence of COVID-19. This dynamic shift presents a significant prospect for redefining the delivery of healthcare services. The researchers’ study, titled ‘Knowledge, perception, and readiness of health professionals towards the use of electronic health record during COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos’ shows that healthcare sector stakeholders in Nigeria are motivated and adequately willing to embrace the system.
Transitioning to a new approach like the EHR system can bring about several difficulties, just like any other system that undergoes evolutionary changes. However, gaining insight into these obstacles and how they specifically impact service delivery in healthcare facilities would empower EHR system developers to come up with creative solutions to the impediments. This is particularly crucial when it comes to designing the digital infrastructure and ensuring its successful implementation and usage in a hospital setting.
Health records are crucial in monitoring and public health.
Agbarakwe et al recently published the study in the International Journal of Medicine and Health Development, stating that paper-based record-keeping methods break continuity of patient care, more evident during COVID-19 pandemic era. This descriptive quantitative study was conducted in Lagos State with healthcare professionals from various fields, utilizing an interviewer-administered online questionnaire as the data collection tool. The study garnered responses from a total of 93 participants. Majority of the participants (93.9 percent) are in support of the EHR system, saying the fact that it would greatly enhance their workflow efficiency.
While 90.77 percent expressed a desire for its implementation, only 88.46 percent regarded inadequate computer systems as a hindrance. The majority of participants reported positive experiences and perceptions, displaying a willingness to embrace electronic health record systems. According to the researchers, health records play an essential role in monitoring and evaluating public health, as well as assessing a country’s overall health indicators. They are also crucial for developing effective policies and initiatives that can improve the well-being of the population.
EHR systems are designed to generate consistent results.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one major challenge facing the Nigerian health system is the lack of a reliable health information system for monitoring and analyzing health indicators. Due to the predominant use of paper-based systems, effectively compiling and analyzing patient information on a large scale becomes nearly impossible. The high cost and inefficiency of transcribing and analyzing hard copy data further exacerbate this issue. Therefore, it is not viable to effectively utilize the routine data acquired from patients to ensure public health safety.
Despite challenges and flaws in the paper method, Nigerian hospitals and clinics continue to rely heavily on this method for record keeping. This is mainly due to lack of readiness to embrace electronic health records. It is worth noting that EHR systems are designed to generate consistent results regardless of the amount of data, the time at which it is acquired, or the individual accessing it. The seamless integration and analysis of data is facilitated, thereby enhancing its contribution to the preservation of public health. Nigeria’s health prospects could take a positive turn with the implementation of the system.
Nigeria healthcare service delivery would transform.
The nation’s healthcare service delivery capacity, disease surveillance, and control would also undergo immense transformation with the implementation of the EHR system. To cater to specific needs, an extensively developed and properly backed open-source application can be customized. While the positive impact on patient care and overall efficiency in healthcare facilities is undeniable, successful implementation of EHR systems requires a comprehensive understanding of the perceptions held by those who will ultimately utilize these new solutions.