Investigating the implementation of Smartcare electronic health record system project in Zambia using tenets of project management.

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Pande, Katayi Francis
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The University of Zambia
Health Information Systems (HIS) are an integral part of a functioning health system. The SmartCare Electronic Health Record system is one such HIS implemented in Zambia. However, studies done on SmartCare HIS are limited when it comes to the success of the project from the developer’s view using project management principles. There is inadequate evidence establishing the success of elements and characteristics of the SmartCare project. This study was conducted to determine how effective the system has been run from the system development perspective using project management principles in Zambia. A mixed method approach was used for data collection. Data collection included in-depth interviews for the qualitative arm, questionnaires for the quantitative arm, and a review of the literature available on the subject matter. Sample size comprised of 102 SmartCare system users from Lusaka province, which consisted of all Assistant Monitoring and Evaluation Officers from Lusaka district, and purposive sampling was used to select Data Associates, Data Coordinators and Technical Officers within the province. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis approach and Stata software. According to the study, while the implementation was successful, it was evident by half the users that the performance of SmartCare system was sufficient and met minimum requirements. Furthermore, 44 percent indicated that the functionality of the system was below the required standard. Additionally, 64 percent of users revealed that the system challenges and constraints limited the system efficiency and sustainability. However, it was evident by 80 percent of users that the system Critical Success Factors are critical to its success. It was further established that only eight SmartCare components were compliant with the global standards of HIS. The results of this study show that the system performance, functionality, and components are barely meeting software design expectations according to tenets of project management. Thus, depriving productivity standards. Future interventions to develop or improve the system should focus on technical design, continuous monitoring and improving qualities, stakeholder engagement, and adoption of key HIS standard components. Keywords: Health Information Systems, SmartCare, Project Management, Performance, Functionality, Challenges
Health Information Systems. , Health record system. , Electronic health record system. , SmartCare.