|dc.description.abstract||The advancement of information technology in the health sector has given rise to
demand for timely, reliable and accurate medical/health information to treat and
manage patients. One of the ways to provide timely, reliable and accurate
information is through the use of Electronic Health Records systems (EHRs). Zambia
has adopted EHRs called SmartCare since 2005. However, in places where the roll
out has taken place, only a few health facilities are using the system fully. The study
objectives were; to explore health workers experiences and perceptions on the use of
SmartCare system, to explore users’ satisfaction on the benefits and challenges on
using SmartCare compared to paper based record system and explore the usefulness
of SmartCare system in decision making at health facility level.
A qualitative phenomological study design was used to collect data through in-depth
interviews. A total of 16 respondents were interviewed on the use of SmartCare by
health workers for decision making.
Health workers perceptions and experiences on SmartCare system were good. They
pointed out that it was a good system, easier, efficient and more convenient way to
store and retrieve patient files/records than paper records. However, the study also
showed that, the SmartCare was not being used for decision making in all the health
facilities visited due to inadequate number of health staff to manage and enter data,
work overload, duplication of work, lack electric power to run computers, lack of
support and regular maintenance of the equipment.
To enhance utilisation of the SmartCare for planning and decision making, it is
important to strengthen health system related factors such as training and deploying
specialised staff to help manage the SmartCare. It is also important to develop
supportive infrastructure and other support systems in the health facilities||en