Understanding health information management practices in public hospitals in Kuwait


BACKGROUND: Health information technology (IT) solutions can aid healthcare reform efforts, but without proper information management, these efforts are futile. In this study, we used Kuwait as an example of a high per-capita gross domestic product country that faces information management challenges to draw insights that can be generalised to other developed countries. OBJECTIVE: (i) to uncover the status quo of information management practices in public hospitals and (ii) to offer recommendations to improve them. METHOD: This study analysed qualitative and quantitative accreditation-related data pertaining to the compliance with the information management standard at all secondary care public hospitals over two accreditation cycles. RESULTS: Overall, public hospitals had made positive progress in their compliance with the information management standard. However, issues still existed with (i) developing and implementing an information management plan, (ii) involving the appropriate stakeholders in selecting health IT solutions and (iii) access to the Internet by staff and patients. CONCLUSION: Evidence underscored the importance of proper information management driven by clear centralised strategic plans. IMPLICATIONS: With the rapid adoption of digital health systems, the role of health information management leaders should not be undervalued. Embracing health IT solutions with strong information management practices can aid healthcare reform efforts.

Health Information Management: Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia