MEASURING THE ICT MATURITY LEVEL OF THE NIGERIAN PRIMARY HEALTH SECTOR

ABSTRACT

ICT (Information and Communication Technology) refers to the collection, storage, editing, and transmission of information in various electronic forms. Rapid advances in ICT have the potential to have a significant impact on how health care and its administration are managed, as well as provide health workers with access to a world beyond the hospital. It has the potential to change the nature and processes of the entire healthcare structure, resulting in a better healthcare delivery system. Understanding how to use and integrate ICT and healthcare is critical; however, there is still a very low level of ICT growth in our health care system, which has resulted in poor healthcare services in our country. Given the foregoing considerations, It is necessary to assess the Nigerian health sector’s ICT maturity level because this will provide useful insight into how to successfully incorporate ICT into the primary healthcare system, and the knowledge gained will be very useful in terms of planning, budgeting, and providing necessary funding priorities. This will result in a more effective and easily accessible primary healthcare system.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Frienzel (2006) defines ICT as a discipline that includes computer systems, telecommunication networks, and media applications. The term “information and communication technology” refers to all communication devices and applications, including computers, network hardware and software, and the various services and applications that go with them. Since the rise of ICT and related technologies in the 1950s, many innovations and inventions have emerged using ICT as a foundation, ranging from mining and exploration to business and commerce. Its inventions are limitless and have improved performance and productivity in many sectors of the economy. Most countries are at some stage of health-care reform, attempting to provide expanded and equitable access to quality services while reducing or at least limiting health-care costs. Keeping health-care costs under control. ICTs have the potential to significantly improve service accessibility and quality. The health-care industry has always relied on technology. They are the backbone of services to prevent, diagnose, and treat illness and disease, according to the World Health Organization (2004). Advances in information and communication technology in the last century have resulted in the ability to more accurately profile individual health risk (Walson, 2003), to better understand basic physiological and pathologic processes (Lauman, 2002), and to revolutionize diagnosis through new imaging and scanning technologies. Such technological development, however, has placed demands on practitioners and policymakers for the appropriateness of new technology (Hofmanns 2002). The method by which people communicate with one another Mobile telephony, electronic mail, and video conferencing have all significantly changed the way people share their perspectives. Through radio, video, portable disk players, and the internet, digital technologies are making people’s visual images and voices more accessible, changing the opportunities for people to share their opinions, experience, and knowledge. Reliable data and effective communication are critical components of public health practices. Unfortunately, epidemics, poor health, diseases, and high mortality rates continue to plague most poor and developing countries. Access to basic health services and facilities remains limited, particularly in rural areas, and many communities suffer from deficiencies in both qualitative and quantitative service delivery. The use of appropriate technologies can improve the quality and reach of both information and communication. On the one hand, the knowledge base is about providing people with information that will help them improve their own health. Social organizations, on the other hand, assist people in achieving health through health care systems and public health processes. The ability of impoverished communities to access services, engage with, and demand a health sector that responds to their priorities and needs is heavily influenced by broad information and communication processes mediated by ICTs. There has been much international debate about the potential of ICTs to significantly improve the health and well-being of poor and marginalized populations. ICTs have enormous potential as tools to increase information flows and dissemination of evidence-based policies in combating poverty and encouraging sustainable development and governance when used effectively.  Citizens must be educated and empowered. Despite all of its potential, one issue (challenge) is that ICTs have not been widely used as tools to advance equitable healthcare access. It is therefore critical that we assess the maturity level of ICTs in the health sector, because knowing the maturity level will aid in identifying the sector’s current profile and defining its goals for integrating ICT in health. The assessment of ICT maturity level will aid in the establishment of future benchmarks and goals as part of their strategic planning and funding priorities.

1.1            STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

This project work investigates and measures the level of maturity of the primary health sector, which has remained controversial and undermined over time. It aids in determining the tertiary health sector’s e-readiness.

1.2            GOAL OF THE PROJECT

The project’s goal is to assess the level of ICT maturity in Nigeria’s primary health care sector.

1.3            AIMS AND OBJECTIVE

The following are the project’s goals and objectives: To investigate existing ICT maturity models in order to identify and expose the strengths and weaknesses of ICT in the Primary Health Sector. Identifying an appropriate ICT maturity model that would be most appropriate for measuring the maturity of the primary health sector using Egor Local Government Area as a case study. Using and inputting the captured ICT maturity model for the Primary Health Sector using Egor Local Government Primary Health Centre as a case study. Based on the findings in ICT maturity, make appropriate recommendations.

1.4     SCOPE OF STUDY

This study will use Egor Local Government Area as a case study. The dependent and independent variables that will be used in this study will be examined over an appropriate time period.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This study made use of several tools, including: available literatures, which allowed the researcher to have a good foundation on existing work; and interviews with some key workers in the health sector, which resulted in a more critical analysis of research.

1.6     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY·

Because I had to combine my other academic work with this project work, time was a major constraint. Access to materials and information that would have been available in the desired area was denied for security reasons because companies feared it could be used to harm their image. In most cases, insufficient data is obtained, so the only variables that can be tested are those for which secondary data can be generated from the research.

 

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