A Case Study of a Point-of-Care Electronic Medical Record [SABER] in Totonicapán, Guatemala: Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions

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A Case Study of a Point-of-Care Electronic Medical Record [SABER] in Totonicapán, Guatemala: Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions


JournalAnnals of Global Health
Publication date – Sep – 2020
Authors – Nicholas H. Aldredge , Dorian Rodriguez, Jessica González, David R. Burt
Keywordselectronic medical records, emr, registries
Open access – Yes
SpecialityHealth policy
World region Central America
Country: Guatemala
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on November 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Abstract:

Background: The adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) in lower-income nations has progressed slowly due to the lack of adequate infrastructure, funding, and training. However, EMRs have been successfully implemented previously in resource-limited health systems in South Africa, Haiti, Cameroon, Kenya, and Peru. Detailed, organized, and easily accessible medical records are particularly important in emergency departments due to the volume and acuity of the patient population.

Methods: In order to further study the plausibility of an EMR in a resource-limited emergency department, a web-based, Spanish-language EMR known as SABER was developed for use in Hospital Nacional José Felipe Flores in Totonicapán, Guatemala. The software collects patient data including demographics, triage, initial evaluation, review of systems, physical exam, and evaluation and plan. It then generates a .pdf file consistent with information requirements of the Guatemalan Ministry of Health. Local physicians, medical students, and nurses were trained in the use of the software, which debuted in July 2016. To assess the effectiveness of SABER as an EMR, focus groups and Likert scale surveys were conducted with six physicians and 31 medical students working in the Hospital Nacional emergency department.

Results: Thirty of 32 medical students and six of six doctors would recommend SABER to another provider. Positive aspects identified by staff include ease of use, quick data entry, and the potential for large data set research.

Discussion: Remaining challenges include incorporating electronic nursing orders and lab results, troubleshooting technology problems including printer difficulties, a lack of electronic signature capability, and lack of integration with the rest of the hospital. Our study is consistent with other studies that show use of an EMR may help to reduce health disparities through improved patient records, medical data collection, and organization.

OSI Number – 20722

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