Telemedicine application and difficulties among Prince Sultan Medical City in Saudi Arabia

Ala'Eddin M. Ahmad, Suliman A. AlSuhaibany, Omar Z. Alsharqi, Hussein M. Al-Borie, Ameerah M. Qattan


The rapid changes in the technological environment in Saudi hospitals sector have exerted significant pressures on the health services provider’s to pay attention to updating medical technology strategies in general and health service delivery strategy/telemedicine in particular. Therefore this research investigates telemedicine application and difficulties among Prince Sultan Military Medical City (PSMMC) in Saudi Arabia. This study proposes and tests a two factors model that explains the considerable variation in telemedicine application and difficulties in PSMMC. In order to explore this issue, a descriptive method was used to collect primary data through a questionnaire, which was administered in the PSMMC in Riyadh the capitals city in Saudi Arabia and, via in-depth semi- structured interviews with hospital managers and experts in the telemedicine. All heads of medical departments, IT department, telemedicine department, and medical education department in (PSMMC)-Riyadh were targeted in this research rather than a representative sample of these hospitals. A purposive sampling strategy was used to choose the participants in this research. In total, 40 senior managers were participated in this study. The results confirm that telemedicine system helps the hospital to minimize the process of referring patients to other hospitals. Furthermore, the results show that telemedicine system helps in increasing the quantity and quality of information available, which reflects positively on the quality of medical service. Regarding the difficulties of applying telemedicine the results also highlight poor training in the utilization of techniques necessary for the application of telemedicine system at the hospital. Because of the contributions made by telemedicine in improving health care services, researchers advocate gradual circulation of a draft of telemedicine at all military and governmental hospitals for capacity building and promotion by users and to avoid the difficulties that might occur.


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