Abstract: Healthcare sector in general, more so in the developing world, is characterized by a number of constraints. Notably, available resources are always several paces behind the demands on healthcare. Adoption of e-health, however, enables increased access to health information and management of service delivery. While this is significant towards improving coordination and quality of health services, on the other hand, it increases the complexity of healthcare managements, resource needs as well as challenges of health information security. In Kenya, one of the recently introduced policy objective is to plan, design and install Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, and software for the management and delivery of essential healthcare [1]. There is still dearth of information on the e-health readiness of health service providers to engage in actualizing this objective. The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying factors that affect healthcare workers readiness to adopt and use e-health technology applications in Kenya. Three County-referral health facilities located in 3 Counties in Western Kenya were identified based on availability, organization and functional scope of the e-health solutions. Using a cross-sectional descriptive design, quantitative data was collected from a total of 100 health service providers, through close-ended questionnaires and qualitative data from 21 key informants using interview guides and observation check lists. Available eHealth infrastructure and technical support were largely through donor funding. The study investigated staffs ease and comfort of use of the systems available, need for a management support in the organization providing strong leadership and coordination; e-health system as an additional workload burden, also studied was if the staff had requisite skills needed for full-scale use and need to learn. The investigation, revealed that there is need for management support providing a learning environment, hence the staff developing the requisite skills for full-scale use. These findings indicate that while basic e-health infrastructure exists, most workers still lacked the skills necessary for full-scale use and exploitation of eHealth advantages. There was a general unmet need for training and capacity building in eHealth among healthcare workers, particularly among the clinical cadres (frontline health workers). Implementation of eHealth should integrate ongoing competency and skills improvement activities mainly for clinical teams.

PDF | DOI: 10.17148/IJARCCE.2021.10309

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