An assessment of the implementation of teleradiology in the Eastern Cape towards the enhanced utilisation of the system

Hauman, Charlotte (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2010-12)

Technical Report

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Telemedicine is the use of communication and information technology (ICT) to enable the delivery of specialised health care services. In a developing country like South Africa where there is a shortage of medical specialists, telemedicine is an innovative tool that can contribute to the equitable distribution of resources such as specialist knowledge. The problem is that the past decade has seen numerous telemedicine initiatives being introduced in the country, with little sustainability and low utilisation rates. The initiatives being introduced need to be monitored and evaluated to ensure the sustained implementation and complete adoption of the telemedicine systems in the country. This project focuses on a specific South African telemedicine initiative, the teleradiology system in the Eastern Cape province, with the purpose to provide an assessment of the implementation of the system and a framework towards the enhanced utilisation of the system. Literature is studied comprehensively to find a broad perspective on the factors involved when teleradiology is implemented. Four barriers to the sustained implementation of teleradiology are identified, namely technological, organisational, behavioural and economical barriers. These barriers are discussed with regard to the literature and then the broad perspective is narrowed by applying the literature to various aspects of the Eastern Cape system. This application follows a visit as part of a project team from the Medical Research Council of South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch in June 2010 to monitor and evaluate telemedicine in the Eastern Cape. Research was done using surveys, interviews and observations and valuable exposure to the system was obtained. The four implementation barriers and examples of the Eastern Cape system are integrated into a discussion of the entire teleradiology system. The assessment of the system is concluded with an engineering view point of providing an alternative solution and the evaluation of alternatives. It is anticipated that the project will contribute to the available literature on the sustained implementation of teleradiology and telemedicine in a developing country such as South Africa and provide decision makers and managers of telemedicine in the Eastern Cape with an original view on the system and a framework towards the enhanced implementation of the teleradiology system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Telegeneeskunde is die gebruik van inligtings- en kommunikasietegnologie om die eweredige verspreiding van gespesialiseerde gesondheidsdienste te bewerkstellig. In ‘n ontwikkelende land soos Suid-Afrika waar daar ‘n groot tekort aan mediese spesialiste is, is telegeneeskunde ‘n innoverende oplossing om die verspreiding van hulpbronne soos hierdie spesialis kennis te bevorder. Die probleem is dat daar verskeie projekte die afgelope dekade in die land geloods is, maar hierdie projekte is selde volhoubaar en het ‘n lae benuttings-graad. Projekte moet gemonitor en evalueer word om sodoende te verseker dat dit volhoubaar is en dat daar volkome aanneming van die stelsel in die verskeie organisasies is. Hierdie projek fokus op ‘n spesifieke telegeneeskunde projek in Suid-Afrika, die teleradiologie stelsel in die provinsie van die Oos-Kaap . Die doel is om die implementering van hierdie stelsel te assesseer en ‘n raamwerk te verskaf wat ‘n bydrae sal lewer tot die verhoogte benutting van die stelsel. Die metodologie wat gevolg word is ‘n omvattende literatuurstudie wat ‘n breë perspektief bied op verskeie faktore wat ‘n invloed het op die implementering van ‘n teleradiologie stelsel. Die projek identifiseer vier hindernisse wat volhoubare implementering en aanneming van die stelsels keer, naamlik: tegnologiese, organisatoriese, gedrags- en ekonomiese hindernisse. Hierdie hindernisse word deur middel van die literatuur bespreek, en daar word dan in meer diepte gekyk na die hindernisse deur dit toe te pas op die stelsel in die Oos-Kaap. Hierdie toepassing volg na ‘n besoek aan die Oos-Kaap in Junie 2010 saam met ‘n projekspan van die Mediese Navorsingsraad en die Universiteit van Stellenbosch met die doel om telegeneeskunde in die provinsie te monitor en te evalueer. Tydens hierdie besoek is navorsing gedoen deur middel van vraelyste, onderhoude en waarnemings en waardevolle blootstelling aan die stelsel en die hospitaal-opset is verkry. Die vier implementerings versperrings en Oos-Kaap voorbeelde word dan geïntegreer deur ‘n bespreking van die hele teleradiologie stelsel. Die assessering van die stelsel word afgesluit deur ‘n ingenieurs uitgangspunt aan te neem as daar na verskillende oplossings gekyk word en dit evalueer word. Die hoop is dat hierdie projek ‘n bydrae sal lewer tot die beskikbare literatuur aangaande die volhoubare implementering van teleradiologie en telegeneeskunde in ‘n ontwikkelende land soos Suid Afrika en dat dit aan die besluitnemers en bestuurders in telegeneeskunde in die Oos-Kaap ‘n oorspronklike perspektief op en ‘n raamwerk vir die verbeterde implementering van die teleradiologie stelsel sal verskaf.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/18203
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