A mixed methods approach to prioritizing components of Uganda’s eHealth environment
Introduction: Globally the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in healthcare, eHealth, is on the increase. This increased use is accompanied with several challenges requiring uniformly understood and accepted regulations. Developing such regulations requires the engagement of all stakeholders. In this manuscript we explored the priorities of various eHealth stakeholders in Uganda to inform the eHealth policy review process.
Methods: We used a Delphi approach during the initial programmed plenary of a consultative workshop in which participants were asked to identify and post their topmost priority related to eHealth under one of the seven components of the eHealth environment as described in the WHO national eHealth toolkit. We used an additional qualitative analytical method to further group the participant sorted priorities into sub clusters to support additional interpretation using the toolkit.
Results: The components of the eHealth environment ranked as follows with respect to descending number of postings: information services and applications (36 postings), information and technology standard (31 postings), leadership and governance (22 postings), strategic planning (21 postings), infrastructure(14 postings), financial management (2 postings) and others (6 postings).
Conclusion: Uganda's eHealth environment is in the developing and building up stage (II). In this environment the policy and implementation strategy should strengthen linkages in core systems, create a foundation for investment, ensure legal certainty and create a strong eHealth enabling environment.
Key words: Information and communications technologies, policy, eHealth