Health information officers’ views of mental health information processing and utilisation within an integrated primary healthcare service in Cape Town, South Africa
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Health facility information officers have significant roles in gathering and processing health information and communicating it for utilisation. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of health information officers in processing and utilisation of mental health information within the context of primary health care. Fourteen health information officers were selected using purposive sampling techniques; they were interviewed, and data were grouped into themes. The study revealed a lack of structured information validation and feedback systems to improve the quality of information processing, and facility-level mental health information processing was fragmented and not used to improve service outcomes. Staff involved in health information recording and processing had limited skills to fulfill these tasks, and there were barriers to collecting and processing mental health information. These findings have major implications in improving mental health services within the integrated primary mental healthcare services, and in developing a sound and strong mental health information system.
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