Readiness of health-care institutions in KwaZulu-Natal to implement telespsychiatry
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We assessed the preparedness of health districts and designated hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province for proposed telepsychiatry services. An e-health readiness questionnaire for developing countries was administered to managers of health districts and managers of designated psychiatric hospitals by telephone interview. Ten of the 11 district managers and managers/medical officers of 45 of 58 designated hospitals were interviewed. Notwithstanding some concerns regarding the tool, low levels of e-health readiness were found. District managers recorded e-health readiness scores of 137–217 out of 300. This was similar to the hospital managers, who recorded readiness scores of 121–260 out of 300. For telepsychiatry to succeed in KZN, an awareness programme will be required to facilitate the necessary change management.