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ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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The role of records management professionals in the national health information system and e-health in hospitals in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Njabulo Bruce Khumalo, Adock Dube, Nathan Mnjama

Abstract


The introduction of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the health sector has brought about electronic health (eHealth) which uses computing, networking and communications technologies to improve health delivery. However, the inclusion of records management and archival concerns during system design in healthcare informatics has not been prioritised, resulting in systems which fail to produce authentic, reliable and records with all features of recordness. Furthermore, the long-term preservation of records and information created by such systems has been a challenge. This study sought to find the level of engagement of records and archives management (RAM) professionals and their concerns in eHealth in hospitals in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe. Five hospitals, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Health Information and Disease Surveillance Unit and the National Archives of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo Branch participated in this study. The study was qualitative, applying an interpretivist approach and a qualitative case study research design. Face-to-face interviews and document analysis were used as data collection methods. Narratives of respondents were presented thematically and the themes were derived from the research objectives of the study. The findings of the study showed that there was a general lack of concern for the long-term preservation of records and information in electronic platforms. Records and archives management personnel were not capacitated to handle e-records and the National Archives of Zimbabwe was not involved in e-records management initiatives.




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