Usability Assessment of the Electronic Patient Management System for AIDS & TB Services in Zimbabwe


Introduction: Medical care is provided in a complex environment by multidisciplinary teams. There is great need for high levels of coordination among teams. Paper medical records pile up that need referring back to. Sometimes finding a piece of medical history can be difficult. Information and communication technology solutions can solve such problems. The Zimbabwean AIDS & TB Unit of the Ministry of Health installed an electronic Patient Management System in 83 health facilities to alleviate the overburdened paper system. It is important to for the Unit to carry out a usability assessment of the system, to determine how usable it is. The more competently the users operate the system, the better the service AIDS & TB patients receive from them. Aim: To perform a usability assessment of the new electronic Patient Management System based on user experiences at the 83 high volume facilities where it was installed. Objectives: Review literature on usability of the electronic Patient Managements System; To construct a questionnaire and investigate the usability of the system; To analyse the results and investigate factors affecting the usability of the system. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the 83 facilities was done using a self-administered questionnaire as the data collection tool. Multiple linear regression analysis was done to investigate factors affecting usability of the system. Differences between demographic subgroups were investigated. Results: 48 (57%) of the 83 facilities responded. In a multiple linear regression analysis only amount of time a facility had spent with the system was found to have a linear relationship with the usability of the system (R2 = 0.2623; 95% CI). There were no differences among demographic sub-groups. Discussion: The training that came with the installation of the system was good enough to cancel out the demographic factors that would have influenced the usability of the system. Acquiescence response bias and social desirability bias may have been contributing factors. Conclusion and Recommendations: The perception of system usability and competency in use will improve with time. An assessment that captures all the facilities may give better insights into the issue of usability.

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Mukumba, T. (2014) Usability Assessment of the Electronic Patient Management System for AIDS & TB Services in Zimbabwe. Open Access Library Journal, 1, 1-18. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101119.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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