Implementing e-health in Malawi

In low-income countries a substantial challenge in planning and delivering healthcare is the accurate assessment of disease burden. In this week's PLOS Medicine, Miguel SanJoaquin from the University of Malawi College of Medicine and colleagues describe their experience of implementing an electronic patient record system in a large referral hospital in southern Malawi.

The system, known as Surveillance Programme of IN-patients and Epidemiology (SPINE), is used to record patient details during consultations and this data can be used to monitor changing patterns of disease at the hospital.

The authors note, "[o]ne of the main obstacles in monitoring of the success of international public health targets, including the (MDGs), has been the lack of accurate monitoring and evaluation of disease burdens. Reliable and comparable information about the main causes of disease in populations and how these causes are changing, is a crucial input for debates about priorities in the health sector."

More information: SanJoaquin MA, Allain TJ, Molyneux ME, Benjamin L, Everett DB, et al. (2013) Surveillance Programme of IN-patients and Epidemiology (SPINE): Implementation of an Electronic Data Collection Tool within a Large Hospital in Malawi. PLoS Med 10(3): e1001400. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001400

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Estimating global malaria incidence

Dec 20, 2011

Estimates of malaria incidence derived from routine surveillance data suggest that 225 million episodes of malaria occurred worldwide in 2009. This estimate is lower than other published figures, such as those from the Malaria ...

Recommended for you

More involvement needed in models of care

1 hour ago

Clinicians and health administrators need to take a more active role in implementing and evaluating models of care (MoCs) for musculosketal health, according to a recent study.

Researchers developing a digital maternity package

1 hour ago

Every Finnish expectant mother can choose to receive a free of charge maternity package containing baby clothes and other useful items. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is currently developing a digital maternity ...

User comments