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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 97-101
What is stopping primary health centers to go digital? Findings of a mixed-method study at a district level health system in Southern India

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sibasis Hense
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod - 671 316, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_304_20

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Introduction: Electronic medical records (EMRs) are computerized medical information systems that collect, store, and display patient information and essential for the achievement of primary health-care goals. This study explores the availability and utilization of EMR and analyzed the barriers inhibiting their implementation at primary health centers (PHCs) in Nalgonda district of Telangana, India. Methods: The research employed a sequential mixed-method design. Quantitative data were collected using a questionnaire by conducting facility surveys across 75 PHCs and in-depth interviews with district health authorities were conducted using a predesigned guide. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis of interviews resulted in four themes focusing on the factors inhibiting PHCs to use EMR. Results: The availability of EMR facility was low (19.14%) and they are routinely used for maintaining immunization data in 83% of the PHCs. In contrast, none of the PHCs used EMR for prescribing medications to patients. Budgetary constraints, unavailability of dedicated information technology staff, gaps in technical knowledge, and perceptions about EMR as a time-consuming system were the commonly reported barriers inhibiting PHCs to go digital. Conclusion: The availability and utilization of EMR keeping was low across PHCs of Nalgonda district.The study identified multiple barriers which hinder the implementation of EMR facilities at PHCs. Addressing these barriers is crucial for the successful implementation of EMR.

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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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