Healthcare Workers’ eHealth Competences in Private Health Centres in Urban Tanzania

Anni Laitinen, Annariina Koivu, Pirkko Nykänen, Honest Kimaro

Abstract


Background: Healthcare workers’ eHealth competence is a significant, but often overlooked, factor for successful eHealth implementation. The implementation of eHealth has radically transformed health sector workforce’s competency requirements, and has created challenges, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Aim: The aim of the study was to identify healthcare workers’ existing eHealth competences in private health centres in urban Tanzania.
Methods: The data were collected in private health care facilities by using both a survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed by SPSS and Atlas.ti software.
Results: Tanzanian healthcare workers had several weaknesses in computer and informatics competences, and eHealth technology-related competences varied widely among the participants. However, generally participants had positive perceptions towards eHealth. The majority of the healthcare workers had quite limited training for and exposure to eHealth technologies, which consequently appeared to hinder the competency development.
Conclusion: To increase the likelihood for successful eHealth implementations, findings emphasize the importance of identifying individuals’ eHealth competences prior to eHealth implementation, providing eHealth trainings that are targeted at the specific needs of groups and individuals, and support the on-the-job use of eHealth technologies. The positive perceptions towards eHealth suggest that healthcare workers are ready to take on such technologies. Further studies to determine how to improve healthcare workers’ eHealth competences and what kind of training should be provided would be useful in addressing the identified challenges and overcome the weaknesses.

Keywords


Basic computer and informatics competences; eHealth attitudes; eHealth competences; Healthcare workers; Tanzania

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