Challenges facing the implementation of hospital management information systems in hospitals in Nairobi
Hospitals in Kenya are adopting and implementing ICT in order to improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery through the implementation of Hospital Management Systems (HMIS).The main aim objective of the study was to establish the extent to which hospitals in Nairobi are using HMIS and determine challenges of implementing HMIS in hospitals in Nairobi. The researcher chose hospitals in Nairobi because of time and financial resources available to conduct the research. The study adopted a survey design methodology because the researcher collected data on the current status and usage of HMIS, computerization levels and the challenges in implementing HMIS. The main instrument for data collection was a questionnaire which was administered to IT officers in the hospitals. Drop and pick approach was used to collect the questionnaire. Out of 42 Questionnaires distributed, 36 were filled and returned giving a response rate of 85%. The research questions were generated from the objectives. The data collected was, coded and analyzed with the aid of SPSS package. Descriptive statistics was used to help in drawing conclusions. It was assumed in data analysis that the results obtained were quite a representative for the general population. The findings of the challenges faced in HMIS implementation in Kenyan hospitals indicate that most hospitals have adopted several practices in their HMIS implementation. The study found that the following challenges are faced by Kenyan hospitals in HMISs implementation. These include the challenge of support from the employees, financial resources, internal communication, and training of users, changeover methods and long procurement processes The study concludes that to improve the success of HMIS implementation in hospitals, the study recommends; improving planning and coordination of HMISs projects, capacity building through user training, knowledge and skills transfer, transparency in procurement of information systems, involvement of users in system requirement definition, involvement of managers at all levels, sufficient software & hardware evaluation and use of change agents in implementation. The study further recommends employing qualified managers to spearhead HMISs implementation and empowering them through training since they are the drivers of the project. Hospitals intending to implement HMISs should establish and equip IT department which will spearhead automation, development of IT strategy and enterprise architecture.