Scaling Up EMR in Nigeria
Motivated by drastic improvements in record keeping, record storage capacity, and shorter consultation times—all due to the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system—the Federal Medical Center Gusau, Zamfara has committed to scaling up the EMR system.
In 2016, during the now concluded USAID-funded Prevention Organizational Systems AIDS Care and Treatment (Pro-ACT) project, MSH introduced the EMR system to FMC Gusau to overcome poor record keeping challenges. Under the CaTSS project, MSH is continuing this work, has donated 10 laptop computers and a server to the facility, and has trained health workers to manage records using the new EMR platform.
Before the introduction of the EMR system in FMC, there were several cases of missing patients’ folders, frequent duplication of patient records, longer consultation hours, and loss of productive work hours and resources.
The Medical Director, FMC Gusau, Dr. Kabir Muhammad Anka described the EMR system as an innovation that has “succeeded in minimizing the challenges of record keeping that were characterized by duplication of patient records in our facility, and now we have the capacity to store more records than before.” These gains in efficiency prompted the management of FMC Gusau to procure 10 additional computers to scale-up the system and to cover more hospital service units.
Sadiya Abubakar, a volunteer Adherence Counselor working with FMC Gusau and a member of Trust Support Group said, “The Electronic Medical Record system has helped me immensely. It makes my work easier and it saves client’s time.”
To ensure sustainability of the EMR system, the computers have been assigned to selected staff, and installed in secured environments. Regular maintenance checks will be carried out for early detection of technical problems and troubleshooting. Step-down trainings to staff in various hospital service units are on-going to ensure that the system remains functional beyond the current CaTSS project.