Technical and Human Challenges of Implementing Hospital Information Systems in Saudi Arabia

Mohamed KHALIFA

Abstract


Hospital information systems (HIS) have been in use for decades worldwide and for many years now in the area of the Middle East. Many hospitals in Saudi Arabia started to adopt HIS, where this adoption process is still facing challenges from different aspects. On top of these come the technical and the human challenges which might complicate the implementation of HIS as well as the training of healthcare professionals on using such systems. The main objective of this study was to identify, analyze and evaluate technical and human challenges perceived by healthcare professionals to the adoption of HIS in order to provide system implementers with suggestions on proper actions. The study used a questionnaire to collect data from a random sample of different healthcare professionals at two Saudi hospitals known for their experience implementing HIS; one private and the other is governmental, and then analyzed the results to identify, describe and evaluate various challenges. The study identified more than 50 challenges; 18 technical and 17 human challenges were validated and selected then used in the questionnaire to collect data about the participants’ experiences regarding each item of these challenges. The study sorted challenges from the most to the least important. The governmental hospital users had more complains and concerns than the private hospital regarding the human challenges, related to awareness, training and usability of systems as well as the technical challenges, related to hardware and software of HIS. The study recommended increasing the awareness, training resources and adding hospital information system training to the undergraduate and postgraduate medical and nursing education. The study also recommended improving the condition of hardware and software used through more frequent updating of the devices, computers and their installed systems in addition to enhancing the usability of systems through different approaches.

Keywords


Hospital Information Systems; Technical Challenges; Human Challenges; Saudi Arabia; Hospitals.

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