Drawing on relative stability and a robust and growing economy, Kenya’s Ministry of Medical Services and Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, with support from local and global partners, are working to strengthen the national health system and meet key health challenges, including a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Together, they are reigniting progress toward health goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.
As part of these efforts, the Ministries have made nationwide implementation of organized, sustainable, and synchronized electronic medical information systems a priority.
Since 2005, I-TECH has drawn on expertise from the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco, to support this work. As a key member of the Kenya Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System Technical Working Group, I-TECH worked to implement and standardize the EMR systems used in the management of national HIV and AIDS care and treatment data. Similar efforts have focused on ensuring that different electronic systems can communicate with one another (interoperability) and that health care workers, administrators, and staff are well trained to use and maintain them.
In 2012, fifteen new I-TECH-supported “model” EMR sites will demonstrate standardized implementation, generate best practices, and provide detailed information on the costs and efficiencies of using EMR systems. Based on lessons from these sites and previous experience, I-TECH will also implement EMR systems in 300 health facilities throughout Kenya—one of the largest EMR rollouts in Africa. In addition to these efforts, I-TECH Kenya will provide technical assistance for the development and implementation of a national gender-based violence database.
In all efforts, I-TECH Kenya will continue to work closely with local partners to develop and implement programs that can be successfully transitioned to local ownership, ensuring sustainable progress toward Kenya’s long-term health goals.
Successfully implementing electronic medical record systems requires a long-term perspective, attention to the needs of the people who will operate and maintain the systems,and deep knowledge of the infrastructure and frameworks in which they will operate.
I-TECH Kenya will collaborate with local partners to:
- Continue to standardize electronic health information systems in Kenya, streamlining data collection so that more accurate, complete, and accessible information is available to health care workers, leaders, and managers at all levels of the health system.
- Create an environment of system interoperability in Kenya, allowing information sharing between systems (for example, between EMRs and pharmacy and laboratory information systems), and develop a national deployment plan to guide this progress.
- Develop high-quality, nationally standardized orientation, training materials, and curricula for system users and administrators.Train health care professionals and administrators to use EMR systems through classroom workshops, self-based (online) study, orientation, and evaluation.
- Prepare and support a small cadre of Kenya-based master trainers to teach systems administrators to use systems confidently and correctly.
- Build and reinforce relationships with key Kenyan institutions, and encourage and facilitate collaboration and discussion around challenges and goals for the use of systems.
- Support pre-planning assessments and continuing monitoring and evaluation of all activities, to encourage effective planning and rapid, data-driven response to challenges.
- Provide technical assistance for the creation of systems, including choice of platform, user interface, upgrades, maintenance, and relationships with vendors.
- Identify, document, create, and support 15 EMR model sites at varied levels of health facilities in Kenya, which will demonstrate standardized implementation of EMR systems, generate best practices for EMR implementation, and provide information on the cost and efficiencies of implementing EMR systems (costing).
- Based on data from the model sites and prior lessons learned, develop and implement customized EMR systems in 300 health facilities throughout Kenya, to support primary care and care and treatment of HIV.
- Develop, implement, and support a national-level gender-based violence database, to bring together reporting from acilities throughout Kenya and support data-based interventions