Exploring challenges in patient monitoring and clinical information management of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the perceived usefulness of electronic medical records (EMRs) in HIV care in Ethiopia




Gebre-Mariam, Mikael

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The implementation of electronic medical record (EMR) systems is a complex process that is receiving more focus in developing countries to support understaffed and overcrowded health facilities deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This thesis research uses exploratory-grounded theory to study clinician perceived benefits of EMRs in antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics at four hospitals in Ethiopia. The study is designed to understand the process, technology, social and organizational challenges associated with EMR implementation in resource-limited areas. The research found the attitude of ART clinicians towards the implementation of EMR systems to be overwhelmingly positive. The data showed that perceived benefits of EMRs are improved continuity of care, timely access to complete medical record, patient care efficiency, reduced medication errors, improved patient confidentiality, improved communication among clinicians, integration of various HIV programs, timely decision support and overall job motivation. Conversely, drawbacks to EMR implementation include productivity loss and negative impact on the interaction and relationship between clinicians and their patients. The study proposes a conceptual framework classifying key components for successful EMR implementation in Ethiopia.



health informatics, electronic medical records, developing countries, Ethiopia, HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy, patient monitoring, clinical information management, EMR implementation framework