This thesis provides an assessment of the readiness levels within both urban and rural hospitals and clinics in Libya for the implementation of E-health systems. This then enabled the construction of a framework for E-health implementation in the Libyan National Health Service (LNHS).
The E-health readiness study assessed how medications were prescribed, how patients were referred, how information communication technology (ICT) was utilised in recording patient records, how healthcare staff were trained to use ICT, and how the ways in which consultations were carried out by healthcare staff. The research was done in five rural clinics and five urban medical centres and focused on the E-health readiness levels of the technology, social attitudes, engagement levels and any other needs that were apparent. Collection of the data was carried out using a mixed methods approach with qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaires. The study indicated that any IT equipment present was not being utilised for clinical purposes and there was no evidence of any E-health technologies being employed. This implies that the maturity level of the healthcare institutions studied was at level zero in the E-health maturity model used in this thesis.
In order for the LNHS to raise its maturity levels for the implementation of E-health systems, it needs to persuade LNHS staff and patients to adopt E-health systems. This can be carried out at a local level throughout the LNHS, though this will need to be coordinated at a national level through training, education and programmes to encourage compliance and providing incentives.
In order to move E-health technology usage in the participating Libyan healthcare institutions from Level 0 to Level 2 in the E-health Maturity Model levels, an E-health framework was created that is based on the findings of this research study. The primary aim of the LNHS E-Health Framework is the integration of E-health services for improving the delivery of healthcare within the LNHS.
To construct the framework and ensure that it was creditable and applicable, work on it was informed directly by the findings from document analysis, literature review, and expert feedback, in conjunction with the primary research findings presented in Chapter Five.
When the LNHS E-Health Framework was compiled there were several things taken into consideration, such as: the abilities of healthcare staff, the needs of healthcare institutions and the existing ICT infrastructure that had been recorded in the E-readiness assessment which was carried out in the healthcare institutions (Chapter 5).
The framework also provides proposals for E-health systems based on the infrastructure network that will be developed. The processes addressed are electronic health records, E-consultations, E-prescriptions, E-referrals and E-training.
The researcher has received very positive, even enthusiastic, feedback from the LNHS and other officals, and that expect the framework to be further developed and implemented by the LNHS in the near future.
|Date of Award||Dec 2016|