Full Project – Investigation of the attitude of health information managers towards patient care
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Health care is unique from any other type of industry in the sense that health care professionals are highly dependent on each other to provide and coordinate services of high value for human beings. This is a special challenge for health care managers who are responsible for managing health care organizations (Shortell, 2012). Since one of the main goals of any health care organization is not only to meet, but also to exceed the expectations of patients, improving levels of patient satisfaction is very critical to their long-term success.
Gathering the views of service users is a key feature of recent developments in society and the health care sector has identified methods for assessing the views of patients, especially in the last decade (Wensing, 2014). If health care organizations are in the business to provide service for their customers, then they must strongly consider the needs and expectations of their most important customers. Efforts at quality improvement in health care organizations present their own unique set of challenges. As with all types of services, health care is an intangible product (Shortell, 2012). The services that patients receive cannot physically be viewed or touched like manufactured products such as televisions and cars. It is easier for managers dealing with manufactured products to develop and implement quality improvement measures than it is for health care organizations (Wensing, 2014). Therefore, the aim of this research was to bring on board and bridge the gap of uncertainty between health workers especially nurses and their relationship with patients hence improving health quality within staffs and patients and manner in which health care organizations have traditionally been operated.
Attitudes regarding safety-related issues are an important part of what is often called a hospital’s safety culture (Nilson, et al 2010). An organization’s safety culture consists of components concerning healthcare provider attitudes about organizational factors such as safety climate and morale, work environment factors such as staffing levels and managerial support, team factors such as teamwork and supervision, and staff factors such as overconfidence and being overly self-assured (Uddin, et al 2012). Some authors have noticed that a safety culture is a part of the wider organisational culture, and may be defined as the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, competencies and values that determine an organisation’s health and safety management, and are held in common by employees in relation to safety (Uddin, et al 2012). An understanding of health professionals perceptions and expectations regarding adverse events is therefore essential for the implementation of appropriate strategies to manage health care. In this sense, the beliefs, values and organizational culture of health workers are important aspects to be considered (Robson, et al 2012).
Ethical issues are integral to the topic of patient safety because it is known that millions of patients worldwide suffer injury or death every year as a result of unsafe medical practices and care, and patients are mostly harmed due to preventable causes that they receive during health care in hospital settings. Health care professionals may know that their role is important in the delivery of safe care and that they should have positive safety attitudes. However, the results of a safety culture study showed that both nurse and health information managers were critical of the state of patient safety in acute care hospitals, with health information managers being the more critical group (Robson, et al 2012). That said, generally positive attitudes to patient safety have been reported among health care professionals (Robson, et al 2012), and the safety climate within healthcare has been evaluated more positively by physicians than nurses (Nilson, et al 2010).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The attitude of health information management has lead to litigation by patients’ in the Lapai local government general hospital. It has led to distrust between patients and health professionals in the hospital. It has enhances stigmatization of patients privacy due to exposure of staff records on medically challenged issues. As observed by Ojo & Popoola,(2015), in utilizing health care services, it is important that patients share personal information with health workers. Health care providers have a duty as professionals to respect the patient’s trust and keep the information private.
However, patients’ awareness of their rights to privacy and confidentiality is often low, previous qualitative research has shown that a significant number of patients are not ready to give some of their personal information needed for their treatment. They can even give inaccurate or incomplete information in their medical histories because they believe that the healthcare providers might divulge such information to unauthorized third parties. Even when the healthcare providers do not disclose such information, it is likely that in teaching hospitals like University College Hospitals (UCH) where consultations are conducted with several medical personnel in the room and also the presence of medical students can bring about difficulty in keeping privacy.
In view of these observations, this study was conducted to explore the attitude of health information management personnel towards the confidentiality of patient information.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine attitude of health information manager towards patient care in General hospital at Lapai local government Area of Niger state.
Other specific objectives includes:
- To ascertain whether there is effective health information management in the rural hospital of Lapai local government area of Niger state.
- To determine whether health workers are aware of the importance of patient’s information confidentiality.
- To determine the extent to which patients health information is made confidential among health personnel.
- To find out if health personnel have a positive attitude towards the confidentiality of patient information.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this research work will be useful in the evaluation of the knowledge and attitude of patient towards the privacy and confidentiality of their health information. The result of this study will be useful in enlightening the patients about the importance of sharing their information with the healthcare providers. Furthermore the findings of this research will help various medical institutions adopt controls and policies concerning the appropriate use, access to and dissemination of patients’ health information. Also, the result of this study will help promote the practice of confidentiality of health information among health care professionals in Nigeria. It will further allow health organizations to devise educational mechanisms such as distributing information notices about patient confidentiality to ensure the use of ethical practices in regard to clinical information in the health workers system.
The research is guided by the following research questions,:
- Is there effective health information management in the hospital?
- Are health workers aware of the importance of patient’s information confidentiality?
iii. What is the extent to which patients health information is made confidential among health personnel?
- Does health personnel have a positive attitude towards the confidentiality of patient information?
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to General Hospital Lapai, Niger state. In the interest of the researcher to investigate the attitude of health information managers towards attending to patient.
DEFINATION OF TERMS
. Attitude: According to Gregory (2011), “An attitude is a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individuals response to all objects and situations with which it is related.” Frank Freeman said, “An attitude is a dispositional readiness to respond to certain institutions, persons or objects in a consistent manner which has been learned and has become ones typical mode of response.”
. Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO 2011).
. Information: Information is processed, organized and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process.
. Management: Management is a process of planning, decision making, organizing, leading, motivation and controlling the human resources, financial, physical, and information resources of an organization to reach its goals efficiently and effectively.
. Health Information Management: Is the collection, analysis, storing, protecting and ensuring the quality of patient health information.
Health information management is the collection analysis, storage and protection of the quality of patient health information. This information can be either paper-based, a combination of paper and digital (hybrid) or as is more often the case, a fully electronic health record (EHR).
. Coding: Clinical coding is the process of transforming the information about diseases or procedures recorded in the health records into numeric or alphanumeric codes, that is, it categorises health records information (Tatham, 2008).
. Indexing: Medical record indexing is the process of organizing medical records and information into an accessible user friendly system or an index card.
. Hospital: A hospital is a residential establishment which provides short-term and long-term medical care consisting of observational, diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative services for persons suffering or suspected to be suffering from a disease or injury and for par-nutrients. It may or may not also provide services for ambulatory patients on out-patient bases.
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Full Project – Investigation of the attitude of health information managers towards patient care