Combining vital events registration, verbal autopsy and electronic medical records in rural Ghana for improved health services delivery

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2010;160(Pt 1):416-20.


This paper describes the process of implementing a low-cost 'real-time' vital registration and verbal autopsy system integrated within an electronic medical record within the Millennium Village cluster in rural Ghana. Using MGV-Net, an open source health information architecture built around the OpenMRS platform, a total of 2378 births were registered between January 2007 and June 2009. The percentage of births registered in the health facility under supervision of a skilled attendant increased substantially over the course of the project from median of 35% in 2007 to 64% in 2008 and 85% midway through 2009. Building additional clinics to reduce distance to facility and using the CHEWs to refer women for delivery in the clinics are possible explanations for the success in the vital registration. The integration of vital registration and verbal autopsies with the MGV-Net information system makes it possible for rapid assessment of effectiveness and provides important feedback to local providers and the Millennium Villages Project.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • Database Management Systems / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Ghana
  • Medical Record Linkage / methods*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration
  • Registries
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Vital Statistics*