Awareness and Use of Electronic Health Information Resources in Teaching, Research and Patient Care: The Case of Academic Physicians in a Nigerian College of Medicine

Awareness and Use of Electronic Health Information Resources in Teaching, Research and Patient Care: The Case of Academic Physicians in a Nigerian College of Medicine

Samuel Akande Bello (College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2018100104
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The central objective of this study was to determine the level of awareness and use of Electronic Health Information Resources (EHIRs) among the Academic Physicians of College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (COMUI), Nigeria. Others were to find out the frequency of use, the purposes and barriers against the use. Two hypotheses formulated and tested. This is a total enumeration research with 265 COMUI Academic Physicians, Nigeria. Questionnaire, designed with nominal and dichotomous questions was used. Data collected was analyzed with SPSS version 20.0. Descriptive statistics was used. Test of Pearson Moment Correlation (PMC) with Independent Sample t – test at 5% p – value used. The Academic Physicians mean age was 37.75. The results obtained indicated variations: 96.0% aware and used HINARI, 94.0% aware and used PubMed/Medline, NCBI was 64.9%. Hypothesis Test between awareness and use of EHIRs signified coefficient of proportionality (r = 218, p < 05).
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The emergence of digital health information, online databases, portals and the availability of online health information resources have created a remarkable landmark in medical practice, especially, in the areas of teaching, research and the patient care. In this digital era, information users access their information needs through a variety of options. The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) aided by the Internet has transformed the age-long system where users of nowadays are not necessarily expected to visit the library to access its resources physically but they can stay in their offices, clinics, wards, classrooms or homes and access online library services by simple login in to the webpage (Renwick, 2005).It is evident that the explosion of health electronic information resources and their preponderance usage popularity have proved to be enormously innovative for teaching, research and clinical practice (Macewan & Aelstract, 1997).

The level of awareness and use of these electronic information resources among users are dependent on their availability, ease of access and the cost of access. Which mean that the availability of electronic information resources is capable of changing what the users read and use if the factors of “perceived usefulness and ease of use and access” are to be reckoned with in the theory of information access and use (Dalgleish & Hall, 2000; Venkatesh, Thong, & Xu, 2012). In the context of the above argument, the relationship between awareness and use is asymmetrical, suggesting that users may be aware of the existence of a specific electronic information resource but may not use it for some factors mentioned above. In the same vein, the motivation to access and use online electronic resources is equally tied to the aforementioned factors.

Further to the above and coming down to the specific users, literature established that the awareness and efficient use of online information resources, especially among the academics depend on the proficiency in computer usage, time, skills in the use of the Internet and knowledge of using online electronic resources like databases, portals and other virtual information (Adams & Bonk, 1995; Deng, 2010; Majid & Fanilievna Abazova, 1999; ur Rehman & Ramzy, 2004). The acquisition of these skills by these users are tied to factors like personal interest, flare for technology, computer/Internet self-efficacy and exposure to regular training on the Electronic Information Retrieval System (EIR).

As a matter of fact, adequate knowledge of computer and the Internet is inescapably paramount to access to and utilization of online information resources. That accounts for the new challenges imposed on the academics on the need to be computer literate so as to be confident and autonomous electronic information resources users for education, research and patient care (Majid & Fanilievna Abazova, 1999; McDowell, 2002).

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