The role of information and communication technology in health information system of the Afigya Sekyere District, Ghana

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Many developing countries including Ghana have made efforts to strengthen their health information system by using ICT. This is to ensure that the fragmented health information system is knit together to ensure effective planning and decision making. The drive for the reform of health information system has coincided with the ICT revolution. This study was to direct the attention of health managers to focus on the need to have an effective health information system by taking advantage of the ICT revolution. The study was also to identify how ICT can enhance health information system in the Afigya Sekyere district of Ghana. The study design was descriptive cross-sectional which was employed to describe a situation at a particular point in time. Analysis was restricted to the information generated from the respondents. A self - administered questionnaire, a key informant interview schedule, and focused group discussion guide were used to solicit information from the respondents. The quantitative study involved 60 respondents, purposively selected within the health workers. The use of ICT in HIS was very minimal because 70.0% of the respondents do not use computers. The study revealed that 56.7% of the health workers still use manual methods of keeping health information. Majority of the workers agitated for the computerization of the health sector. By this most of the respondents preferred computers to the manual form of storing data. Nearly half (45.0%) of the health workers held middle school leaving certificate. It came out that 55.5% has difficulties accessing information. Lack of finance, untrained staff, infrastructure and expertise were noticed as challenges in the use of ICT in the health information system. It was believed that the computerization of the health sector should be considered with all the seriousness it deserved, to promote an effective health care delivery system. It was recommended that the community and the district assembly should do more to ensure a good health care delivery by taking advantage of the ICT boom. Other stakeholders like the government and the NGOs were also recommended to help provide infrastructure like equipments and buildings to solve these challenges.
A thesis submitted to the School Of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science In Health Services Planning and Management.