An electronic medical record system for ambulatory care of HIV-infected patients in Kenya
Administering and monitoring therapy is crucial to the battle against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Electronic medical records (EMRs) can aid in documenting care, monitoring drug adherence and response to therapy, and providing data for quality improvement and research. Faculty at Moi University in Kenya and Indiana and University in the USA opened adult and pediatric HIV clinics in a national referral hospital, a district hospital, and six rural health centers in western Kenya using a newly developed EMR to support comprehensive outpatient HIV/AIDS care. Demographic, clinical, and HIV risk data, diagnostic test results, and treatment information are recorded on paper encounter forms and hand-entered into a central database that prints summary flowsheets and reminders for appropriate testing and treatment. There are separate modules for monitoring the Antenatal Clinic and Pharmacy. The EMR was designed with input from clinicians who understand the local community and constraints of providing care in resource poor settings. To date, the EMR contains more than 30,000 visit records for more than 4000 patients, almost half taking antiretroviral drugs. We describe the development and structure of this EMR and plans for future development that include wireless connections, tablet computers, and migration to a Web-based platform.