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Towards EHR interoperability in Tanzania hospitals: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities

DOI: 10.5121/ijcsea.2014.4404

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Abstract:

This study aimed at identifying the issue, challenges and opportunities from the health consumers in Tanzania towards interoperability of electronic health records. Recognizing that we conducted a study to identify the challenges, issues and opportunities towards health information exchange. The study was conducted in three major cities of Tanzania. This was in order to come up with a clear picture of how to implement some EHRs that will be trusted by health consumers. The participants (n=240) were surveyed on computer usage, EHRs knowledge, demographics, security and privacy issues. A total of 200 surveys were completed and returned (83.3% response rate). 67.5% were women, 62.6% had not heard of EHRs, 73% highly concerned about privacy and security of their information. 75% believed that introduction of various security mechanisms will make EHRs more secure. A number of chi-square tests (p<0.05) showed there was a strong relationship among the variable of age, computer use, EHRs knowledge and concerns for privacy and security. The study showed that there was a small difference of 8.5% between those who think EHRs are safer than paper records and those who think otherwise. The general observation of the study was that in order to make EHRs successful, then the issue of security, and health consumer involvement were two key towards the road of successful EHRs in our hospitals practices and that will make consumers more willing to allow their records to be shared.

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