Barriers to the Adoption of EHR Systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

For this week’s coursework in MI227, I have focused on the article tackling the barriers to the adoption of EHR systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

o    What are the key points of the article?

The article discussed the findings of a study conducted to identify the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems. The study used a Systematic Review of Literature based on 6 search engines namely, PubMed, EBSCO Host, Web of Science, ACM, IEEE and Google Scholar. Articles were limited to peer reviewed, empirical studies within Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). 12 studies were used by the authors which were extracted, analyzed, summarized and categorized empirical results related to EHR barriers.

Through the study, it was revealed that there are many barriers that hinder the implementation of an EHR system in KSA. These barriers are largely composed of (1) lack of computer experience, (2) lack of perceived usefulness, (3) lack of perceived ease of use by the healthcare professionals and (4) technical limitations. The article further discussed that the barriers may be classified into two categories based on the target of interventions to increase the adoption of EHRs —  individual-level adoption barriers, and organization-level adoption barriers. Individual-level adoption barriers or user-level adoption barriers refer to those which would hinder an individual healthcare professional from choosing to accept and use an EHR system. On the other hand, organization-level adoption barriers or authority-level adoption barriers refer to those which would discourage an organization from adopting and implementing an EHR system. The presence of individual or use-level adoption barriers has an impact on an organization as they affect “resistance to change,” which is an organization level barrier.

o    What lessons learned does it describe?

The identification of barriers is useful in assisting policy makers in planning and designing policies to increase the adoption of EHRs. It will also help EHR vendors in system development and marketing. For instance, because lack of familiarity of the medical staff with EHR was cited as the most frequently cited barrier, training programs on computer literacy would increase healthcare professionals’ adoption of EHR systems. To respond to the barrier of lack of perceived usefulness, proponents of an EHR system should strive to provide a clear understanding of the benefits of the e-health technology by its users. Future research should take into account these findings with a view to the development of an appropriate framework for the adoption of EHRs in the KSA.

o    How can this relate to the local setting in the Philippines?

A similar study to identify the barriers to adoption of EHR systems in the Philippines would be beneficial. Researchers may adopt the same methodology and see whether they would come up with the same result. Some of the existing challenges identified by the author by way of background – i..e the misdistribution of healthcare services, rapid population growth and the need for effective Chronic Disease Management (CDM) programs – are challenges that are similar to what the Philippines faces. It would be of great interest to know whether a Philippine-focused study will also yield the same results as KSA on the barriers to entry. If so, Philippine policy makers and EHR proponents may find it useful to keep track of how KSA responds to these barriers in coming up with its own framework for the adoption of EHRs.



  1. Alqahtani, Asma, Crowder, Richard & Wills, Gary., Barriers to the Adoption of EHR Systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study Using a Systematic Literature Review. 2017 July 09. Vol. 11 No. 2, 2017. Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries.
  2. Raposo VL. Electronic health records: Is it a risk worth taking in healthcare delivery? GMS Health Technology Assessment. 2015 Dec 10;11.
  3. Hillestad R, Bigelow J, Bower A, Girosi F, Meili R, Scoville R, et al. Can electronicmedical record systems transform health care? Potential health benefits, savings,and costs. Health Affairs. 2005;24(5):1103–17.


#MI227 #HealthInformatics #MSHI #UPManila




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