Information and Communication Technologies and performance of electronic health projects in Kenya
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between ICT and performance of the health care projects. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish the extent to which ICT is used in healthcare projects in Kenya, to determine the key challenges in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in healthcare and to establish the relationship between the utilization of the ICTs and the performance of the healthcare projects. Descriptive survey design was used in the study. The population for this study was organizations running healthcare projects in Kenya. Ten organizations running projects that have adopted e-health systems were studied. A total of 5 respondents were randomly sampled from each of the organizations targeted. A total of 50 respondents were targeted by the study out of which 48 responded giving a response rate of 96%. Questionnaires were used as instruments for data collection. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages means and standard deviation was used to analyze the data. Inferential statistics such as regression and correlation analysis was used to test on the relationship between the variables of the study. On the extent of use of ICT in the provision of healthcare projects, the study found that ICT had been used in the management of electronic health records to a large extent in managing patients’ records electronically and provision of back up in cases of emergency for patients’ records as indicated by 37.5% of the respondents. Regarding the challenges to the use of ICT in the provision of healthcare services, the study found that inadequate ICT infrastructure in the organization hinders service delivery to the healthcare subscribers (mean score 3.31) and that inadequate ICT infrastructure among the subscribers hinders their access to the healthcare services (mean score 3.31). Other challenges included: lack of technical knowhow, ineffective government policies and limited allocation of funds. On the relationship between the utilization of ICT and the performance of healthcare projects, the findings from the regression analysis revealed that use of electronic health records, telemedicine, health information systems, the internet and mobile health explains 73.3% of the performance of healthcare projects. The findings from correlation analysis further revealed that all variable tested had a positive relationship with the performance of healthcare projects and were all significant at 95% confidence level. The study concluded that the use of electronic health records, telemedicine, health information systems, the internet and mobile health influences the performance of healthcare projects. The study also recommends that organizations should train its staff and patients on the use of ICT in delivering and accessing healthcare services. This would improve the performance of healthcare projects. The study finally recommends that another study be carried to assess the use of ICT in the provision of healthcare services in hospitals.