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Int J Med Inform. 2012 Apr;81(4):244-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Implementation and expansion of an electronic medical record for HIV care and treatment in Haiti: an assessment of system use and the impact of large-scale disruptions.

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  • 1University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



System use is a key criterion of success in an electronic medical record (EMR) implementation, and there is little research on long-term use of systems following implementation. The aim of the paper was to describe the development, implementation and use of iSanté, Haiti's national HIV care and treatment EMR.


To build a picture of the history of iSanté, we interviewed 11 staff involved with the development and implementation of the EMR, and reviewed organization records. Data entry and report use were ascertained by querying the central patient database.


By the end of 2010 there were 67 sites with iSanté installed, and the scope of the system had been expanded to include primary care and obstetrics and gynecology. New functionality includes data forms specific to subpopulations, the ability to transfer patient records among clinics, and integration with an electronic laboratory system. We observed fluctuations in use over time, with substantial reductions in the number of active sites during times of large-scale disruptions in Haiti. A surge in report use following the January 2010 earthquake suggests that clinics found the EMR to be a valuable source of data during the recovery phase.


There is real potential for EMRs in developing countries to improve clinical practice and make data available for efficient reporting, quality improvement and other population health uses. An approach of continuous system improvement, combined with regular assessments of use, is necessary for achieving an effective, national implementation of a standardized EMR. We have achieved successes in terms of rolling out new functionality and expanding to new sites, but more work remains to be done to improve perceptions of data quality and increase use of population data for accurate and timely reporting.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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