Health Informatics J. 2022 Oct-Dec;28(4):14604582221137446. doi: 10.1177/14604582221137446.
BACKGROUND: Malaria contributes 20% of outpatient cases in health facilities in Uganda. Data also show that there is a severe shortage of skilled health care personnel in sub-Saharan Africa. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems have been shown to provide benefits to health care providers and patients alike, making them important for low resourced settings.
METHODS: A comparative study was performed from March 2018 to March 2019 in which an integrated EMR system was implemented with treatment guidelines for malaria, and its effect was evaluated on malaria outpatient case management in one Ugandan health facility. Another health facility was used as a control site.
RESULTS: Malaria outpatient visits were 1.3 h shorter in the EMR group (p < .0001), and 80% more participants in the EMR group had age and weight information available to clinicians at the point of prescribing (p < .0001). Fewer participants in the EMR group had recurring malaria with no statistical significance (p = .097). Malaria surveillance reporting was significantly more accurate at the EMR intervention site (p < .05).
CONCLUSION: The EMR system probably improved malaria outpatient case management by reducing outpatient visit durations, improving the availability of patient age and weight information to inform prescribing and improving the accuracy of malaria surveillance reporting.