Strategies to enhance electronic health record (EHR) improvement in data quality help in patient quality of care and decision-making: a case study of Smartcare.

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Chizoma, Dale Nchimweta
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University of Zambia
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) system has had the potential to revolutionize medical documentation and patient management. With a focus on improving the patient quality of care and decision-making, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is spearheading the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to transition from a paper based health system to a national integrated electronic health system. This EHR system is called SmartCare, and is for implementation and use in all Health Centres offering antiretroviral services as this will ease provision of continuity of care, patient safety, cooperation of clinicians, collection and aggregating of reports and securing patient data among other services. However, in its current use, the system has shown inconsistence in reports generated and erroneous data that include incomplete records, missing or inaccurate information which may cause unintended consequences to patients, providers and erode promises of the EHR system. The objective of the study is to develop strategies using Diffusion of Innovations Theory (DOI) and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) in a cross sectional case study that determine the individual’s characteristics, social and technical factors that may be used to reduce the likelihood of introducing errors in the EHR system. The significance of this study is having a framework based on the study findings that may aid in developing a positive influence with the end users to curb errors while using EHR systems hence improving data quality and bettering the quality of health care and decision making. Key words: Diffusion of Innovation (DOI), Electronic Health Record (EHR), Errors, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).
Information and Communication Technology---Health--Zambia. , Medical records--Data processing. , Electronic Health Record--Zambia.