Development and evaluation of an integrated electronic data management system in a South African metropolitan critical care service
Introduction: The importance of accurate healthcare data is vital when approaching current healthcare challenges, but is difficult to collect in busy, under-resourced environments. It was aimed to develop and implement an information system that is costeffective, easy and practical for data collection. A clinically integrated data collection system that demonstrates how to achieve this in a resource-poor setting is described.
Methods: A database was developed using customisable software to provide a robust relational database and clinically practical solution to data collection. The system was examined for data completeness through a field audit of referral records for evaluation of the reviewed system.
Discussion: The database system has been incorporated into the daily flow of clinical work, thus reducing duplication of note keeping and avoiding the need for data capturers. After improving the design and user interface, better compliance was noted. This provided useful insight into critical care database development.
Conclusion: This project has demonstrated successful development and implementation of a hybrid electronic medical record and registry for a critical care metropolitan service. It has provided a practical information system allowing for the development of local critical care services with the ability for quality improvement, aggregate reporting for systems planning, and research.
Keywords: critical care, database, developing country, ICU, registry