Medical Records Department Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Qatar Electronic patient records Soft System Methodology (SSM) Sociotechnical systems Information Technology (IT) National Health Services (NHS)
Since the 1990 the use of Electronic Patient Records (EPR) in health services has
become increasingly prevalent world wide. EPR has become an important aspect of
the continuous improvement of patient care. Transferring all patient records from
paper based to electronic is now a priority for many health services.
The research reported in this thesis is sponsored by Hamad Medical Corporation
(HMC) to provide opportunity to explore the potential role for EPR in the Medical
Records Department. The study has been designed to gain better understanding of
the users perspectives with regard to the use of patient records. In order to analyse
and understand the complex dynamic involved in the management and use of patient
records, it was recognised that systems thinking offered an appropriate framework
for this research. Soft System Methodology (SSM) was therefore applied to the
analysis of the data and used to inform the development of a conceptual model.
Using SSM in combination with the structured questionnaire survey and telephone
semi-structured interview, triangulation of methods was achieved. Use of these
generated rich data revealing for example the general dissatisfaction expressed with
the existing manual patient records system, the lack of confidentiality, poor
legibility, shortage of space and the frequent misfiling of records. The need to
address these problems has informed the strategic plan for the development and
implementation of EPR for HMC. The research has successfully addressed the stated
aims and research questions and guided the formulation of proposals for
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.