Managing health records well is essential to improving health service delivery in less developed countries such as Ghana. However, these countries do not necessarily have the right infrastructure to allow the adoption of advanced techniques to manage health records. In this exploratory study, we examine whether Ghana might be ready to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) by interviewing physicians and patients. We conducted a survey with 30 managers working for different health organizations in Ghana. Our results show that these managers generally had a positive perception of EHRs. Yet, their organizations had not fully adopted EHRs in practice. The more advanced organizations had combined paper-based health records (PHRs) with EHRs. The existing infrastructure appears to lead our respondents to believe that combining PHRs and EHRs, instead of using EHRs alone, was the best approach in health records management. We also identified specific perceived advantages of EHRs over PHRs among our respondents. Most interestingly, more than 90% of our respondents viewed easy retrieval of health records as a major relative advantage of EHRs over PHRs. After reporting this and other results, we discuss limitations and further research opportunities in this paper.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN