Electronic medical record (EMR) system can improve the quality of health care and patient safety. Various countries have gone through the local application of EMRs to various health care organizations in national implementation and integration of EMRs. Ethiopia lags far in the back in this regard, as solely some hospitals have implemented EMR.
Our systematic review found a variety of potential barriers to the adoption of EMR systems in Ethiopia. The most common barriers to EMR adoption are lack of EMR training, limited access to computers, lack of computer literacy, lack of EMR knowledge, lack of technical support, and lack of EMR manuals.
Lack of EMR training is one of the most commonly reported barriers to EMR adoption. Therefore, training should be considered as a determining factor for the successful implementation of EMR systems. According to the findings, the adoption of health information technology in health care systems can be strongly influenced by continuous EMR and basic computer training. It recommends that the Ethiopian Ministry of Health should be prepared to provide a complete end-user training package for medical staff to increase the level of EMR usage and ensure successful implementation.
Additionally, limited access to computers has been identified as a major barrier to EMR adoption. Implementing an EMR system requires significant hardware, including computers, cables, and internet connections. Therefore, appropriate allocation of technical resources and percentage of total revenue should be considered for successful implementation of EMR by healthcare organizations.
Poor computer skills among medical professionals are also a barrier to EMR adoption. This means that computer literacy is closely related to healthcare professional EMR adoption, healthcare professional EMR usage, and healthcare professional EMR satisfaction. This may be supported by the fact that people who are computer literate find it less difficult to use EMR systems when used for routine health care. This may be the result of the fact that these abilities facilitate working with any digital technology. Therefore, management support initiatives, such as providing training and assistance, should be continuously developed to improve the ability of health care professionals to use the EMR system.
Our systematic review also found that lack of EMR knowledge is a major barrier to EMR adoption. This may be because healthcare professionals who understand the value of EMR systems are more likely to use them because they are more familiar with them. They are also more likely to accept the technical benefits and desire to use EMR systems, so they may be ready to use them.
The lack of EMR manuals is one of the factors that prevent the successful adoption of EMR systems. A possible explanation for this finding is that the existence of EMR guidelines is critical for the use and troubleshooting of EMR issues and serves as a guide for users to improve the use of EMR systems. This suggests that providers needed access to EMR guidelines to facilitate adoption of EMR systems.