Electronic health records adoption in South African Healthcare Providers : a case of North West Province
Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are a technology that is being implemented in healthcare institutions around the globe. This technology enables the healthcare sector to enjoy increased efficiency and throughput, whilst cutting overhead costs in healthcare centres. The aim of this study is to investigate the adoption of these EHRs by identifying the factors that influence their rate of adoption within healthcare institutions. Diffusion of Innovation (Doi) Theory and a derivative of the Technology Acceptance Model, (TAM2) are used as the theoretical lenses through which this problem was viewed. Respondents participated in a mixed methods study that evaluated the effect which the factors identified by the above theories, had on the adoption of EHRs in their workplace. The sample for this study comprised of public and private primary healthcare facilities from the North West Province. Three participants from 3 different healthcare facilities participated in the qualitative iteration of the study, while 56 participants took part in the quantitative iteration of the study. Interviews and an electronic questionnaire were utilized to collect data required for analysis in this study. Data collected was analysed using Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Analysis. Results showed support for some of the factors of TAM2 and Doi, namely Relative Advantage, Output Quality, Result Demonstrability, Computer Self-Efficacy, System Complexity and Enjoyment/Job Satisfaction. A new variable - Patient Safety Endangerment - was also found to have a significant influence on the healthcare worker's decision to use a particular EHR. It is with this information that a deeper understanding of how EHRs are used in the North West Province can be established and this information can be used by decision makers when implementing similar systems within the province to maximise their adoption.