Research: EHR may be effective for developing countries

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A new study published in the Journals of the American Medical Informatics Association reveals that electronic health records (EHR) may improve the quality of care for individuals in developing nations.

Researchers found that computer-generated reminders about overdue tests yielded nearly a 50 percent increase in appropriate ordering of essential blood exams. These are necessary to monitor the health of patients with HIV and guide treatment decisions.

“We need to improve quality of care in the developing world at a time when funding for HIV and other diseases is stagnating or decreasing – which means we will have to do it with fewer personnel as the number of patients increases,” said Martin Chieng Were, researcher of the study.

Researchers said that this may be particularly significant because of the many medical errors that occur in settings where too few skilled healthcare providers are tasked with caring for a large patient population with critical illnesses.

This need in developing countries demonstrates the demand for health information management professionals on a global scale. These individuals can design and implement a system that can help care providers with effective EHR technology.