Influence of Team Spirit and Collaboration Among Health Information Management Practitioners Towards Patient Care in Selected Hospital in Anambra State
Objective of the Study
The specific objectives of the study are to;
- examine the existing methods of managing health records in the selected hospitals of Anambra State;
- ascertain the nature of team spirit and collaboration among health care professionals in the selected hospitals of Anambra State;
- find out the relationship between team spirit and collaboration and health information management practices in the selected hospitals of Anambra State.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Methods of Managing Patient Records
Health records is a complete compilation of scientific data about patient’s life and illness, derived from many sources, coordinated into an orderly documented file, packaged by the medical record department and finally filed away for various uses, both personal and impersonal (Omosanya, 2023). Health records may be managed manually or electronically (Olaniyan, 2014):
- Manual Method: This involves the use of paper, ink and paper product in the creation, storage, maintenance and use of patient records. The strategies used in the manual method include the adoption of the basic health information management systems such as; numbering system, tracing system, filing system, appointment system, coding and indexing system. These systems are operational in a health records department with adequate space, equipment and qualified personnel in the health institution, via various sections of the department such as, registration, admission and discharge, coding and indexing, statistics, and library sections. Information is made available to the users manually based on their needs and requests (Makata, 2015).
- Electronic Method: This involves the application of computer system and other electronic devices into the creation, maintenance and use of patient The strategies used in electronic health records method include the use of hardware, software, human ware, procedures and storage devices. Application packages, such as multipurpose hospital information system (MPHIS), Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, District Health Information System – 2 (DHIS-2), Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), Electronic Coding Procedures and Instructions (ECPI), including storage devices like hard disc, CDROM, flash drive, network and internet services are adopted for effective management of patient records and sharing of information with complete accuracy (Oyeniran, 2013).
The stages in life span of health records as explained by Popoola (2000) are; creation, maintenance, use, evaluation (i.e. active, semi-active and inactive categorization of records after proper evaluation of the patient records) and records disposal
- Creation of Patient Records: Health records creation starts with the documentation and registration of patient in the health information management department of the health institution. This will be followed by entering of clinical information such as; patient’s complains, diagnosis, reports of medical investigations and treatment rendered into the record. At the registration point, a unique hospital number would be assigned to the patient record to facilitate distinct identification of the record.
- Maintenance of Patient Records: Records’ maintenance phase involves storage facilities, retrieval tools, filing and This is applicable to patient records management practices which consist of the provision of appropriate infrastructure, the establishment of mechanisms and procedures, for collecting and analysis health data, to provide needed information to be used as management tool for informed decision making. Effective maintenance of patient records requires the adoption of appropriate filing system, numbering system, appointment system, tracing system, storage system, coding and indexing systems. Applications of these systems enhance accessibility to patient records for specific use.
- Patient Record’s Use: Health records use begins with an initiation stage, during which the information user first becomes aware of the need to gather information from the existing records, by recognizing the initial need for information, and attempt to facilitate effective use of the records through systematic organization pattern of the patient records based upon his / her needs. Coding and indexing systems are the tools that facilitate patient records use. These systems involve the process of assigning numeric or alphanumeric representations to clinical documentation (i.e. specific diseases, diagnoses and or procedures) as stipulated in the appropriate classification system such as international classification of diseases, volume 10 (ICD-10). And indexing is the process of preparing a catalogue which denotes the various processes involved in the preparation of entries and maintenance of a catalogue. Coding and indexing are processes of grouping which involve putting together like entities and separating unlike entities by assigning a classification mark to an item through which the item may be easily identified and located for use when the need arises (Omole, 2023).
- Evaluation of Patient Records: Evaluation is a process of determining the value of records for further use, and the length of time for which that value will continue. Evaluation must be done based on the existing policy, which will stipulate how long records should be kept in their original form and what to be done after the expiration of the stipulated period. Record’s content, record’s value, record’s form, reference value, research value, operating value, fiscal value, legal value, and archival value of the records must be considered during the evaluation Evaluation helps in the categorization of patient records into active, semi-active and inactive records.
- Active Patient Records: Active patient records are records needed to perform current operations (such as direct patient care and treatment) they are subject to frequent use and usually located near the user, and may be managed in a centralized or decentralized health records
- Semi-active Patient Records: Semi-active phase occurs, when the patients have been discharged home and only need to visit the hospital on appointment or at will. Records of discharged patients are processed in the health information management department and stored in the health records’ library. These categories of records are seldomely retrieved for patient care and research purposes.
- Inactive Patient Records: An inactive record is a record that is no longer needed to conduct current business but is being preserved until it meets the end of its retention period as stipulated in the enabling policy. Inactive patient records are those records that are dormant on the shelves, which their owners or the patients have cease coming to the hospital, over a given period of time and records of dead patients that are kept in the health records library. These categories of records are made to reside in the secondary storage area of the library in order to create space for active records on the shelves, because of their reference value during disease surveillance and notification activities especially when carrying out trend analyses of diseases over a period of time (Popoola, 2000).
Research design is the process of identifying variables and their relationship to one another. Thus, the instrument for this research was well-structured questionnaires which were used in accordance with the objectives of this study. It also involved interviews. The reliability of this method lies in the fact that the verbal and non-verbal responses of the respondents are recorded and questions outside the ones already listed can be asked.
The study adopted descriptive survey design because, it focuses on observation and perception of the existing situation, describes and interprets the issues, conditions, practice or relationship that exist; views, belief and attitude that are held, processes that are going on and trends that are developing. The research approach is purely quantitative with a questionnaire survey method. Quantitative research approach with a questionnaire survey method were used because there is a time limit to gather or collect data for the study.
A survey research studies a small sample from a large population from where inferences would be drawn about the characteristics of the defined population. This research design conforms to the characteristics of the survey research described above. Therefore, the survey research provides conceptual and methodological design for investigating the problem of the study.
Population of the Study
The population for the study comprised of all the registered and licensed health/medical practitioners (i.e Health Information Managers, Nurses, Doctors and Others health/medical practitioners) in selected hospitals in Anambra state. The targeted population of this study was the entire Health/Medical practitioners of the surveyed institution. In order to ensure efficiency in the level of work done, the method used and all the detailed acquired are limited as a result of time and capital in addition to other constraints. The study was limited to health/medical practitioners (i.e. Health Information Managers, Nurses, Doctors and Others health/medical practitioners) in selected hospitals in Anambra state.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
Data were collected through the questionnaire. Data generated through questionnaire were collated, coded, and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics that is: frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviation and simple correlation in analyzing the responses of the medical and health officers. The return rate of 306 copies of the questionnaire dispatched to the medical and health officers in the 30 selected hospitals of Anambra State show that 285 copies representing 93.1% were duly completed and returned while 21 copies representing 6.9% of the questionnaire were not duly completed. Therefore, the results presented in the following sections were based on the 285 copies of the questionnaire that were duly completed and returned.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Summary of Findings
Major findings of the study are outlined below:
- Findings established that health records are created to provide evidence of patient treatment in the health facility, as records are managed through the process of records management life cycle; that is, records creation, records maintenance, records use, records evaluation and disposition of patient records in the selected hospitals.
- The findings showed that team spirit and collaboration fosters unity and contributes to effective health information management in the selected hospitals, because creative and learning environment facilitate effective documentation of health care services in the selected hospitals.
- The result showed that there is positive and significant relationship between team spirit and collaboration and health information management practices in the selected hospitals of Anambra
The inference from this study established that team spirit and collaboration influences health information management practices in the selected hospitals. The effectiveness of health information management practices depends on efficient team spirit and collaboration for generation of accurate and reliable health information for action. Health information management practices depend on the extent to which team spirit and collaboration is taken seriously by health care professionals in the selected hospitals. Therefore, effective health information management practices can only be achieved through collaborative team spirit and collaboration that placed premium on creative and learning environment which facilitates effective health information management practices in the selected hospitals.
On the basis of the findings and conclusion of this study, the following recommendations are made;
- State government and LGAs should ensure provision of information infrastructure that supports effective health information management practices via collaboration and team spirit and collaboration among health care
- State and LGAs should ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined to enhance job specialization and promote Espirit de corps among health care professionals in the LGA
- State government should provide a reliable system for training and sharing of uniform value system among health care professionals which enhance collaborative team spirit and collaboration for capacity building in relation to health information management practices in the LGA.
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