Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - African Journal of Emergency Medicine
Title Development of a trauma and emergency database in Kigali, Rwanda
Volume 6
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 185-190
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211419X16300763

Injuries account for 10% of the global burden of disease, resulting in approximately 5.8 million deaths annually. Trauma registries are an important tool in the development of a trauma system; however, limited resources in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) make the development of high-quality trauma registries challenging. We describe the development of a LMIC trauma registry based on a robust retrospective chart review, which included data derived from prehospital, emergency centre and inpatient records.


This paper outlines our methods for identifying and locating patients and their medical records using pragmatic and locally appropriate record linkage techniques. A prehospital database was queried to identify patients transported to University Teaching Hospital – Kigali, Rwanda from December 2012 through February 2015. Demographic information was recorded and used to create a five-factor identification index, which was then used to search OpenClinic GA, an online open source hospital information system. The medical record number and archive number obtained from OpenClinic GA were then used to locate the physical medical record for data extraction.


A total of 1668 trauma patients were transported during the study period. 66.7% were successfully linked to their medical record numbers and archive codes. 94% of these patients were successfully linked to their medical record numbers and archive codes were linked by four or five of the five pre-set identifiers. 945 charts were successfully located and extracted for inclusion in the trauma registry. Record linkage and chart extraction took approximately 1256 h.

The process of record linkage and chart extraction was a resource-intensive process; however, our unique methodology resulted in a high linkage rate. This study suggests that it is feasible to create a retrospective trauma registry in LMICs using pragmatic and locally appropriate record linkage techniques.

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