Health Information System in Primary Health Care: The Challenges and Barriers from Local Providers’ Perspective of an Area in Iran

Vahid Yazdi-Feyzabadi, Mozhgan Emami, Mohammad Hossein Mehrolhassani


Background: Health information system (HIS) has been utilized for collecting, processing, storing, and transferring the required information for planning and decision‑making at different levels of health sector to provide quality services. In this study, in order to provide high‑quality HIS, primary health care (PHC) providers’ perspective on current challenges and barriers were investigated.
Methods: This study was carried out with a qualitative approach using semi‑structured audiotaped focus group discussions (FGDs). One FGD was conducted with 13 Behvarz and health technicians as front-line workers and the other with 16 personnel including physicians, statisticians, and health professionals working in health centers of the PHC network in KUMS. The discussions were transcribed and then analyzed using the framework analysis method.
Results: The identified organizational challenges were categorized into two groups: HIS structure and the current model of PHC in urban areas. Furthermore, the structural challenges were classified into HIS management structure (information systems resources, including human,
supplies, and organizational rules) and information process.
Conclusions: The HIS works effectively and efficiently when there are a consistency and integrity between the human, supplies, and process aspects. Hence, multifaceted interventions including strengthening the organizational culture to use the information in decisions, eliminating
infrastructural obstacles, appointing qualified staff and more investment for service delivery at urban areas are the most fundamental requirements of high‑quality HIS in PHC.
Keywords: Health information system, Health service provision, Primary health care

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