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. 2018 Mar 1;33(2):237-246.
doi: 10.1093/heapol/czx171.

Success Factors for Implementing and Sustaining a Mature Electronic Medical Record in a Low-Resource Setting: A Case Study of iSanté in Haiti

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Success Factors for Implementing and Sustaining a Mature Electronic Medical Record in a Low-Resource Setting: A Case Study of iSanté in Haiti

E deRiel et al. Health Policy Plan. .

Abstract

Electronic health information systems, including electronic medical records (EMRs), have the potential to improve access to information and quality of care, among other things. Success factors and challenges for novel EMR implementations in low-resource settings have increasingly been studied, although less is known about maturing systems and sustainability. One systematic review identified seven categories of implementation success factors: ethical, financial, functionality, organizational, political, technical and training. This case study applies this framework to iSanté, Haiti's national EMR in use in more than 100 sites and housing records for more than 750 000 patients. The author group, consisting of representatives of different agencies within the Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP), funding partner the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Haiti, and implementing partner the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), identify successes and lessons learned according to the seven identified categories, and propose an additional cross-cutting category, sustainability. Factors important for long-term implementation success of complex information systems are balancing investments in hardware and software infrastructure upkeep, user capacity and data quality control; designing and building a system within the context of the greater eHealth ecosystem with a plan for interoperability and data exchange; establishing system governance and strong leadership to support local system ownership and planning for system financing to ensure sustainability. Lessons learned from 10 years of implementation of the iSanté EMR system are relevant to sustainability of a full range of increasingly interrelated information systems (e.g. for laboratory, supply chain, pharmacy and human resources) in the health sector in low-resource settings.

Keywords: HIV; Haiti; health information system; implementation; international health; primary care.

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