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Médecins Sans Frontières

Electronic Medical Records system

An innovative electronic medical record system that will help improve medical care and follow-ups for patients in low-resource settings.

When we think of a patient receiving medical care, we may be thinking of a nurse or doctor at the bedside of a patient, or providing medicine to patients visiting a health clinic. We’re less likely to think of the infrastructure and information that is needed to ensure their care. Yet the accurate collection of information is crucial for the proper medical care of patients, especially as they navigate through the complexities of their health care system. 

In many countries with functioning health care systems, the collection of information and sharing of data has long been done through digital means, but that’s not the case everywhere in the world. There are still some health care settings where digitized medical information systems are non-existent, particularly in contexts where resources are limited. 

This is why Madiro has invested in an innovative and accessible electronic medical record (EMR) system, called OpenMRS. 

OpenMRS is being developed by an open-source community with many contributors, that will be implemented by the international humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in their medical projects. Historically, due to the limited or high cost of technology, MSF medical staff have relied on hand-written patient records and spent time searching patient records by hand. However, experience and studies have shown that this approach has a higher likelihood of error, which in turn may compromise the quality of medical care for the patient and the quality of recorded data.

With the funding and technical help of Madiro, OpenMRS will improve the collection and reporting of patient data, focusing on accurate digital information intake from the very first meeting between a MSF doctor and patient. This system offers both backend and frontend capabilities and is highly effective at the point of care, which will allow MSF’s medical staff to make informed decisions, improve diagnosis, care and long-term follow-up. OpenMRS has also been recognized as a Digital Global Good (a UN program) and follows the Principles for Digital Development, endorsed by the UN and 200+ organizations working in international development and cooperation.

While implementing an EMR system will not resolve all issues, having a patient-centered, well-designed and context-appropriate tool will go a long way in addressing challenges of patient identification, clinical management, follow-up, and proper medical record-keeping practices.

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