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Acta Inform Med. 2010; 18(4): 184-190

Barriers and Success Stories During the Implementation of Hospital Information Systems in Greek Hospitals

Dimitrios Zikos, Marianna Diomidous, Athanasios Mitsios, John Doudounakis, John Mantas.

Introduction Integrated Hospital Information Systems enable a more efficient use of limited resources in Greek hospitals, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the provided services through the reduction of their operational cost. Despite the above, improvement in the quality of care and the rise in productivity has not been drastically increased. Scope Aim of this study is to investigate the types of Information Systems (IS), the level of integration and the barriers during the implementation phase in three Greek public hospitals. Methods A questionnaire has been developed that investigated the types of information systems, the level of integration, the factors that led to success or failure in the implementation process and the assessment of the existing services. The questionnaires were distributed and filled in by nine employees working at the Departments of Informatics. A second step included semi-structured interviews with the head and the aforementioned employees in the three selected hospitals in order to formulate an overall aspect on the above mentioned issues. A final step addressed one of the three selected hospitals and concerned the observation of implementation process of Integrated Hospital Management IS. The research group gathered further information, via a semi-structured interview, discussion and observation of four staff groups. Results The findings indicate problems related to standards and encodings, underfunding, lack of skilled personnel, denial and indifference by the users and inadequate training, may be overcome, if the hospital administration is committed to the success of the project. The Information Technology (IT) departments’ inadequacy to participate in the development process, is also considered to be an important barrier, while the phenomenon of too many companies co-developing the subsystems of the IS, have also been found to pose decisive restrictions. The management support, coupled with the efficiency of employees in the computer departments and education offices, have been found to result to success stories regarding the above mentioned obstacles.

Key words: Hospital Information Systems, Systems Integration, Barriers, Medical Informatics.

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