Development of standard indicators to assess use of electronic health record systems implemented in low-and medium-income countries
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE. 2021, 16 (1), e0244917. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244917
Background: Electronic Health Record Systems (EHRs) are being rolled out nationally in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) yet assessing actual system usage remains a challenge. We employed a nominal group technique (NGT) process to systematically develop high-quality indicators for evaluating actual usage of EHRs in LMICs. Methods: An initial set of 14 candidate indicators were developed by the study team adapting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting indicators format. A multidisciplinary team of 10 experts was convened in a two-day NGT workshop in Kenya to systematically evaluate, rate (using Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) criteria), prioritize, refine, and identify new indicators. NGT steps included introduction to candidate indicators, silent indicator ranking, round-robin indicator rating, and silent generation of new indicators. 5-point Likert scale was used in rating the candidate indicators against the SMART components. Results: Candidate indicators were rated highly on SMART criteria (4.05/5). NGT participants settled on 15 final indicators, categorized as system use (4); data quality (3), system interoperability (3), and reporting (5). Data entry statistics, systems uptime, and EHRs variable concordance indicators were rated highest. Conclusion: This study describes a systematic approach to develop and validate quality indicators for determining EHRs use and provides LMICs with a multidimensional tool for assessing success of EHRs implementations.