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Health information technology
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR)
These can be interchangeable terms although generally speaking EHR can consist of more information including preventative medicine components and an interface accessible to the patient. Given the broader approach of public health within development work, the term EHR is used here.
EHR can provide an opportunity for rural communities to leap-frog to improved record keeping and greater access to health records. EHR can provide greater access to care for mobile populations and areas affected by natural disaster. (Consider the thousands of paper medical records lost during Hurrican Katrina. Transfer and back up of electronic data to a remote server before the storm could have prevented the disruption of care for many of the people of New Orleans.)
AED/Satellife "AED-SATELLIFE strengthens the global health community by facilitating dialogue and disseminating relevant information on the world's most urgent health topics. Building strong health care delivery systems in resource-poor countries requires reliable data and knowledge management tools. Policy makers, planners, program and resource managers, and health practitioners need up-to-date, relevant information to make sound decisions on a daily basis.
RHINO - Routine Health Information Network "In order to promote high quality and practical approaches to the collection and use of routine health information in developing countries, the USAID-funded MEASURE Evaluation Project, the World Bank, and John Snow, Inc. have created the Routine Health Information (or RHINO) Network, comprised of developing country governments, donor agencies, technical groups, and PVOs. Through engaging in a coordinated response, the Network will strengthen the role of evidence-based decision-making in the health sector in lesser-developed countries, and improve overall planning and management of health activities."
OpenMRS "OpenMRS is an open source, community-driven electronic health record system developed initially as a partnership between Regenstrief Institute (Indiana, USA), Partners-in-Health (an NGO), and the Medical Research Council of South Africa for HIV care. Now supported by others including the Millennium Villages Project, Rockefeller Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (Canada), OpenMRS has documented implementations in more than 25 countries and includes data on 1.5M patients and covers a broader population of patients including Primary Care, TB and maternal care."