Conversion of Existing Paper-Based Patient Charts into Electronic Medical Records at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana
Methods: Paper-based medical records were processed by trained medical and public health students using Fujistsu fi-6240Z scanners connected to laptop computers at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. Complete patient medical records were scanned and converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) using Adobe Acrobat in preparation for the HAMS II software electronic medical records system. Patient confidentiality was maintained throughout the duration of the project using novel encryption practices as defined by the Institution Review Board at Georgia Southern University and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Ethics Board.
Results: The collaborative team of students, faculty and physicians effectively processed 741 medical records with scanner-computer station 1 and 885 medical records with scanner-computer station 2 for a total of 1626 (1.95 GB) records from the Child Health Department (n=1488) and Mother Baby Ward (n=138) for years 2009-2014. An average of 41 pages per medical record was observed, totaling over an estimated 65,000 pages of scanned patient records.
Conclusion: The process of manually scanning and converting paper-based medical records to electronic medical records with scanners and computers provides safe and secured methods to store and retrieve medical information. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of medical records remain to be processed at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in order to completely convert over 50 years of paper-based medical records to electronic formats supported by the HAMS II software system. To our knowledge, this is the first time a project of this magnitude has been undertaken in any hospital in Ghana and other West African countries.
Learning Areas:Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Describe a project design that improved healthcare practices at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana by converting and analyzing paper-based medical records to electronic formats to be incorporated into an electronic medical record system. Identify and discuss challenges faced by clinicians in Ghana.
Keyword(s): International Health, Health Systems Transformation
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal student investigator throughout the research project and am trained in the areas of epidemiology and international health. Among my scientific interests has been global health epidemiology. I am a trained medical records staff member with years of hospital occupational experience.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.