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The Economics of Information Technology in Public Sector Health Facilities in Developing Countries: The Case of South Africa

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  • Gregory B. Cline
  • John M. Luiz

Abstract

The public healthcare sector in developing countries face many challenges, including weak healthcare systems and under resourced facilities that deliver poor outcomes relative to total healthcare expenditure. Healthcare delivery, access to healthcare and cost containment has the potential for improvement through more efficient healthcare resource management. Global references demonstrate that information technology (IT) has the ability to assist in this regard through the automation of processes, thus reducing the inefficiencies of manually driven processes and lowering transaction costs. This study examines the impact of new systems implementations on service delivery, user adoption and organizational culture within the hospital setting in South Africa, as perceived by doctors, nurses and hospital administrators. The research provides some insight into the reasons for investing in system automation, the associated outcomes, and organiztional factors that impact the successful adoption of IT systems. In addition, it finds that sustainable success in these initiatives is as much a function of the technology as it is of the change management function that must accompany the system implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory B. Cline & John M. Luiz, 2011. "The Economics of Information Technology in Public Sector Health Facilities in Developing Countries: The Case of South Africa," Working Papers 251, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:251
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    File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/274
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine Tucker, 2009. "Privacy Protection and Technology Diffusion: The Case of Electronic Medical Records," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(7), pages 1077-1093, July.
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    Keywords

    Hospital information systems; healthcare management; electronic health records; South Africa; mixed methods;

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