Health Management Information Systems Capability and Performance of Public Hospitals in Garissa County, Kenya
Hassan, Abdihakim Dagane
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Public hospitals in Garissa are unable to track results related to hospital facilities and disease statistics and these has adversely affected speed, efficiency and utilization of hospital resources. The public hospital costs are too huge, the fees collected are too small and that the public hospitals are heavily dependent on the government. The support provided by the government by allocating funding and using the required equipment has not been reflected in the timely, convenient services provided by electronic data bases to patients, administrators and doctors. Therefore, this study aimed to establish the effect of health information system capability on performance of public Hospitals in the Garissa County, Kenya. The study’s specific objectives were to establish the influence of data storage, information security, information integration and service delivery on performance of Public Hospitals in Garissa County, Kenya. The study was anchored on technology acceptance model, theory of change and innovation diffusion theory and resource based view theory. Descriptive research design was used. The target population was 2 public hospitals; Garissa provincial general hospital and Garissa county hospital with a total population of 1403 employees. The study’s respondents were 62 information technology specialists working in the two hospitals. Due to a small number, the study was a census. Questionnaires were used to gather primary data. The process of drop and pick later was used. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyze quantitative data. Qualitative data was analysed through the use of content analysis. Respondents were notified before data collection and were allowed to participate voluntarily. The study results indicates that the hospital does not keep electronic health records and patient’s records were not managed electronically. The application of healthcare medical storage technology was ineffective, making the procedure of handling a patient tiresome. It is obvious that the public hospitals in Garissa County have not established a standard for the permissible use of the hospital's information technology, including networks and apps, to ensure data security, integrity, and availability. The integrated health services were not built on a firm foundation of primary care and public health functions. Integration of information is critical for improving operations and the quality of hospital services. Patients in Garissa County were not satisfied with the standard of medical services they receive due to increased waiting hours, cost of movement in search for healthcare services, availability and accessibility of health services and poor patient vs doctor ratio. The study concludes that data management and storage has been made much easier by HMIS. However, Public hospitals in Garissa are poorly electronically managing their data and providing medical services in the vast county is a challenge. Patients records poorly stored and there no back up just in case an emergency happens. Error detection can also be concluded to be much easier when the system are in use but in case of Garissa, detection is not easy due to poor storage, poor information security and poor information integration. The management should ensure that the hospitals fully benefit from the HMIS. The operations in the public hospitals should be 100Percent supported by the health management information system. The system providers should be advised that there is a need to distribute health management information systems sufficiently in all public hospitals in Garissa County.