Information Systems in Health Care Delivery Services: A Case Study of Selected Academic Medical Centres in Lagos State, Nigeria
Information Systems play a major role in the overall healthcare management. It has much to offer in managing healthcare and improving the quality of care. However, Information Systems cannot be discussed outside the concept of information technology. This is because of the embedded role of information technology in clinical and diagnostics equipment through which Information Systems are uniquely positioned to capture, store, process and communicate timely information to decision makers for better coordination of healthcare at both the individual and corporate levels. This study examined the role played by Information Systems (IS) in healthcare delivery services in three academic medical centres in Lagos State, Nigeria. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. The total enumeration technique was adopted in administering questionnaire on resident doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists, pharmacists, and administrative staff. This technique was purposively adopted due to the fact that all the category of medical personnel selected as sample makes use of information systems in carrying out their duties. The study found that majority of respondents was aware of IS. Though, some of IS resources were available, computer and internet were the most used. Clinical services require the use of IS even though there were challenges such as lack of skills on how to use IS, lack of financial supports, inexperience on the part of IS suppliers by not being able to supply the required specifications, and use of faulty IS by medical personnel in the course of their duties. These had negatively affected their job productivity in the area of capturing, processing, and delivery of healthcare services. The study concluded that though IS have a major role to play in healthcare delivery especially where almost all aspects of healthcare services could be managed using technology, however, inadequate funding to procure modern equipment and lack of ICT skills on the part of medical professionals among other challenges can hinder effective capturing, processing and delivery of healthcare services.