Barriers to health information systems and electronic medical records implementation a field study of Saudi Arabian hospitals

Mohamed Khalifa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Despite the positive effects of Health Information Systems and Electronic Medical Records use in medical and healthcare practices, the adoption rate of such systems is still low and meets resistance from healthcare professionals. Barriers appear when they approach systems implementation. We need to understand these factors in the context of Saudi Arabian hospitals to enhance EMR adoption. This process should be treated as a change project. OBJECTIVES: To identify, categorize, and analyze barriers perceived by different healthcare professionals to the adoption of EMRs in order to provide suggestions on beneficial actions and options. METHODS: The study used a questionnaire to collect data from a random sample of healthcare professionals of two major Saudi hospitals, one private and the other is governmental, 158 valid respondents participated in the survey equally from both hospitals and then the results were analyzed to describe and evaluate various barriers. RESULTS: The study identified six main categories of barriers, which are consistent with those reported in recent published research. 1) Human Barriers, related to the beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, 2) Professional Barriers, related to the nature of healthcare jobs, 3) Technical Barriers, related to computers and IT, 4) Organizational Barriers, related to the hospital management, 5) Financial Barriers, related to money and funding and 6) Legal and Regulatory Barriers, related to laws, regulations and legislations. The six categories of barriers were validated with the participants of the pilot sample. CONCLUSIONS: Human barriers as well as financial barriers are the two major categories of barriers and challenges in the way of successful implementation of EMRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Barriers
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Health Information Systems
  • Implementation
  • Saudi Arabia


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