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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 187-192

Information communication technology in medical practice: Pattern of usage and knowledge among doctors in a tertiary health institution in Southeastern Nigeria

Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunday Patrick Nkwerem
Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nnewi, Anambra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_183_21

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Background: Information communication technology (ICT) is increasingly being used in medicine for teaching and clinical practice. It reduces physical contact and travel time and minimizes the risk of nosocomial infections, including COVID-19. It provides good channels of interaction among medical practitioners as well as between physicians and patients. In Sub-Sahara Africa, the windows of opportunity provided by these platforms, especially WhatsApp, Instagram, electronic mail, are still underused. Reasons include hostile legal atmosphere. Aim: This study aims to review the level of use and awareness of legality of WhatsApp, E-mail, and Instagram in a tertiary hospital in the South Eastern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which a pro forma was generated and sent to the contacts of doctors working in the above institution. The forms willingly filled and turned in were analyzed. Results: About 108 respondents willingly filled and turned in their forms. M: F ratio was 2:1, the modal age group was 20–30 years. About 36.6%, 22.6%, 12.9%, and 8.6% of respondents were in surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, and family medicine, respectively. About 98.1% of respondents believed in the use of ICT; however, only 10% of respondents used it frequently in the management of patients. Among those respondents that used it, it was mostly for inpatient care. About 43.3% of respondents are convinced that there is no legal backing for ICT in Nigeria. About 86.6% of respondents are waiting to take advantage of ICT when proper law is put in place. Conclusion: There is a need for better advocacy and amendment of relevant law to enhance use of ICT.

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