Investigating the Impediments to Accessing Reliable, Timely and Integrated Electronic Patient Data in Healthcare Sites in Uganda
Alunyu, Andrew Egwar
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The purpose of collecting patient data is to support their care and wellbeing. Patient-centred care is attained by securely availing all records about the patient whenever it's necessary to the right persons and at the right time. However, healthcare providers have often failed to share integrated patient data on time due to limitations in accessing reliable patient data required to inform care/treatment decisions. This study aimed to investigate impediments to accessing reliable, timely and integrated patient data through investigating the processes for collection, analysis, and presentation of data across various healthcare sites in Uganda. A cross-sectional study design was followed, and data was collected from purposively selected National level (policymakers) and Sub-national level (health facilities). The field findings indicate various impediments to accessing patient data including but not limited to inadequate mechanisms for electronic health data collection, storage and access, non-standardised health data sharing mechanisms, inadequate Health Information System (HIS) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, and inadequate skills, knowledge and training. Other impediments included; insufficient security and privacy measures, weak eHealth governance, and inadequate management support. Accordingly, these have negatively impacted on patient data use and quality of patient care in Uganda.