The WHO developed a manual outlining the preliminary organizational and health professionals’ readiness to implement electronic medical records (EMR). On the other hand, the readiness assessment in Ethiopia only includes the evaluation of health professionals, leaving out organisational readiness components. As a result, this research aimed to determine health professionals’ and organizational readiness to implement EMR at a specialized teaching hospital.
An institutional-based cross-sectional study design was conducted among 423 health professionals and 54 managers. Self-administered and pretested questionnaires were used to collect data. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with health professionals’ readiness for EMR implementation. An OR with a 95% CI and p<0.05 was used to determine the strength of the association and the statistical significance, respectively.
In this study, 53.7% management capacity, 33.3% finance and budget capacity, 42.6% operational capacity, 37.0% technology capability and 53.7% organisational alignment among the five dimensions evaluated to assess an organisation’s readiness to implement an EMR system. Of 411 health professionals in this study, 173 (42.1%) with (95 CI 37.3% to 46.8%) were ready to implement an EMR system at the hospital. Sex (AOR 2.69, 95% CI 1.73 to 4.18), basic computer training (AOR 1.59, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.46), knowledge of EMR (AOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.97) and attitudes towards EMR (AOR 1.65, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.59) were significantly associated with health professionals’ readiness towards EMR system implementation.
Findings showed that most dimensions of organizational readiness for EMR implementation were below 50%. This study also revealed a lower level of EMR implementation readiness among health professionals compared with previous research studies’ results. To improve organisational readiness to implement an electronic medical record system, a focus on management capability, financial and budget capability, operational capability, technical capability and organisational alignment was crucial. Likewise, having basic computer training, giving special attention to female health professionals and improving health professionals’ knowledge of and attitudes towards EMR could help improve the readiness level of health professionals for implementing an EMR system.