Electronic Medical Record Systems in Saudi Arabia: Knowledge and Preferences of Healthcare Professionals

Rihab A. HASANAIN, Kirsten VALLMUUR, Michele CLARK


Background: The use of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems is increasing internationally, though developing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have tended to lag behind in the adoption and implementation of EMR systems due to several barriers. The literature shows that the main barriers to EMR in Saudi Arabia are lack of knowledge or experience using EMR systems and staff resistance to using the implemented EMR system.
Methods: A quantitative methodology was used to examine health personnel knowledge and acceptance of and preference for EMR systems in seven Saudi public hospitals in Jeddah, Makkah and Taif cities.
Results: Both English literacy and education levels were significantly correlated with computer literacy and EMR literacy. Participants whose first language was not Arabic were more likely to prefer using an EMR system compared to those whose first language was Arabic.
Conclusion: This study suggests that as computer literacy levels increase, so too do staff preferences for using EMR systems. Thus, it would be beneficial for hospitals to assess English language proficiency and computer literacy levels of staff prior to implementing an EMR system. It is recommended that hospitals need to offer training and targeted educational programs to the potential users of the EMR system. This would help to increase English language proficiency and computer literacy levels of staff as well as staff acceptance of the system.


Electronic Medical Record; Saudi Arabia; English language; Computer literacy level; Barriers; Implementation.

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