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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - PloS One
Title Implementation of a cloud-based electronic medical record to reduce gaps in the HIV treatment continuum in rural Kenya
Author(s)
Volume 10
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers e0135361
URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135361
Abstract
Background

Electronic medical record (EMR) systems are increasingly being adopted to support the delivery of health care in developing countries and their implementation can help to strengthen pathways of care and close gaps in the HIV treatment cascade by improving access to and use of data to inform clinical and public health decision-making.

Methods

This study implemented a novel cloud-based electronic medical record system in an HIV outpatient setting in Western Kenya and evaluated its impact on reducing gaps in the HIV treatment continuum including missing data and patient eligibility for ART. The impact of the system was assessed using a two-sample test of proportions pre- and post-implementation of EMR-based data verification and clinical decision support.

Results

Significant improvements in data quality and provision of clinical care were recorded through implementation of the EMR system, helping to ensure patients who are eligible for HIV treatment receive it early. A total of 2,169 and 764 patient records had missing data pre-implementation and post-implementation of EMR-based data verification and clinical decision support respectively. A total of 1,346 patients were eligible for ART, but not yet started on ART, pre-implementation compared to 270 patients pre-implementation.

Conclusion

EMR-based data verification and clinical decision support can reduce gaps in HIV care, including missing data and eligibility for ART. A cloud-based model of EMR implementation removes the need for local clinic infrastructure and has the potential to enhance data sharing at different levels of health care to inform clinical and public health decision-making. A number of issues, including data management and patient confidentiality, must be considered but significant improvements in data quality and provision of clinical care are recorded through implementation of this EMR model.

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