PROJECT TOPIC- COMPUTERIZATION OF EDICAL RECORD OF NATIONAL ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL ENUGU
Healthcare industry in this information technology age is transitioning from paper to electronic medical record globally. Therefore it is necessary for Nigerian healthcare systems to follow the state- the-art system of medicare known as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR) in order to gain from the dividends of modern healthcare delivery. This project is the “Computerization of Medical Records of Orthopedic hospital Enugu”. The various literature reviews revealed that the advantages of an electronic medical record system very much exceeded its disadvantages and it offered a more efficient, effective and best clinical practice than the paper record system. This project is not internet based and it is therefore free from those limitations that plague internet based EMR systems such as privacy and security of EMR. The workflow diagram of the patient movement on first visit to the orthopedic hospital was used to model the behaviour of the system as the patient
interacted with it using Unified Modeling language (UML) diagrams. The subsequent source code for implementing this system’s behaviour was written using Java programming language. In view of short fall in the number of doctors required in our healthcare institutions; to adopt EMR is the way forward to ensure that quick and enhanced medicare is available to every patient who visits the hospital and especially as there are only three federal orthopedic hospitals in the whole country.
1.1 Background of the Study
Paper has been used in hospitals since the inception of modern medicine. It was universal, effective, acceptable and easy to use by both health providers and the patients. However, paper by its nature was easily vulnerable to damage due to age, fire outbreak, mishandling and misfiling. It does not provide the necessary confidentiality to sensitive data of patients since it could be viewed easily by any literate person passing by .
The accumulation of paper medical records of all the patients over a long period of time could be very bulky and would necessitate special
storage facility . Paper medical records are prone to handwriting recognition errors due to bad handwriting of the health provider resulting in illegibility and loss of information .
Because of the enormous storage facility, retrieval of paper medical record could be very tedious if not virtually impossible, particularly if it is not appropriately filed or if the trace card is either forgotten at home during hospital visits or if it is lost altogether. A trace card is a small card that contains the identifying information (name and the number of the patient with the date of future appointment at the back of the card). The patient keeps this trace card and brings it to the hospital during appointments.
Paper medical records are usually scattered at the multiple health institutions treating a patient which militate against continuity in healthcare . When a patient visits a new hospital, new medical procedures are initiated without reference to the past medical history of the patient because such documents are in the custody of the previous health institution. In some cases, doctors do not have confidence in the information provided by their colleagues so there must be a repetition of all investigations previously done by the patient. The costs of such repeated investigations are borne by the patient including the physical pains caused by some investigations.
There was a case of a patient being bled a second time for 17 tubes of blood at one sitting because of lack of collaboration between the health institutions treating the patient . There are also delays in compilation of statistical reports from past medical records when using paper medical record system for research purposes to compile and analyze survey results of thousands of patients . There is also shortage of specialists in the
orthopedic hospitals which can be seen from table 1 below. Table1 summarizes some key statistics of patients (male and female) seeking orthopedic care in National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu from January to December 31st, 2009.