Journal of Health Informatics & Management

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The Role of Clinical Leadership in Health Information Technology Adoption in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: A Scoping Review

Background and objectives:
The purpose of this scoping review was to conduct a scoping review that examines evidence on the role of clinical leadership and successful information technology (IT) adoption in healthcare organizations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Electronic Health Records (EHR) is increasingly being implemented in the GC countries. Clinical leaders’ attributes and characteristics are considered as important factors in the successful implementation and adoption of EHR, but there is limited evidence around the role of the attributes and characteristics of clinical leaders in the successful adoption and use of EHR in GCC countries. The aim of this scoping review was to synthesize evidence on the association between skills, perceptions, and attitudes of clinical leaders and the successful adoption of EHR in GCC countries.

Methods
A scoping review of the literature was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines. PubMed and Google Scholars databases were searched based on well-defined eligibility criteria.

Results
A total of 12 studies were included in the scoping review that was predominantly conducted in Saudi Arabia from 2011 and later. The findings suggest that clinical leaders who have effective communication and coordination skills with the ability to engage EHR users and who are skilled in project and change management strategies and follow up and have knowledge of health IT are best suited to lead successful development, implementation and use of EHR in GCC countries’ healthcare systems.

Conclusions
Based on the findings of this scoping review, it provides moderate level evidence that there is a positive impact of clinical leaders on successful IT adoption; therefore, it is highly recommended that clinical leaders with effective coordination and communication skills are involved as project leaders in EHR adoption. It is also recommended that the clinical leaders should actively engage the end users of EHR and regularly follow the planning, development, 
and implementation phases of EHR adoption. The findings indicate clinical leaders who have informatics skills and prior experience with IT projects are likely to develop a vision that comprises a longterm commitment to the use of IT.

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