Background and objective: The implementation of health information systems (HIS) could overcome obstacles in human resources and infrastructure at primary health care centers (PHCs). This study involved an e-Leprosy framework being integrated into the real setting of a leprosy control program in Indonesia. The objectives of this implementation study were to integrate e-Leprosy into a leprosy control program at 27 PHCs in Pekalongan District. Central Java Province, Indonesia to explore factors related the success or failure of such an implementation regarding the usability, involvement, and acceptance of e-Leprosy by PHC staff and to evaluate the effect of the implementation on leprosy patient attendance at PHCs. This paper is based on the Standards for Reporting Implementation Studies (StaRI) statement.
Method: This study used mixed methods implementation research with longitudinal analysis and involved two groups of participants: Leprosy Surveillance Officers (LSOs), patients, and the relatives of patients. This study involved four phases consisting of preparation, baseline assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The qualitative study conducted focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. The e-Leprosy program automatically sent SMS reminders regarding leprosy treatment to the LSOs, patients, and patients' relatives every month.
Findings: This study determined that LSO had difficulties related to their workloads in PHCs while managing information and monitoring treatment and contact after release from treatment. The baseline assessment phase found that LSOs in Pekalongan District were unfamiliar with email but familiar using the internet. Overall, LSOs had a positive perception of the e-Leprosy program. The usability of this e-Leprosy program tended to increase over time, while acceptance of the e-Leprosy exhibited a significant relationship with computer and internet fluency (r = 0.48, p < 0.05) and age (r = 0.621, p < 0.01). The responsible patients correlated (r = 0.67, p < 0.01) with involvement in the e-Leprosy program. This study revealed that patient reminders increased on-time attendance by 13.9 % (p < 0.01 with OR = 2.41).
Conclusion: Factors that should be considered during implementation HIS included the digital gap, PHC's staff workload, as well as the level of commitment and leadership in the health office.
Keywords: Developing countries; Implementation science; Leprosy; Primary health care; Public health informatics; m-health.
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