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South African trauma center launches portable electronic trauma health record application
Date:1/2/2014

CHICAGO (January 2, 2014): Electronic health records (EHRs) have become standard practice throughout hospitals in North America, but in countries with fewer resources many front-line clinicians are still collecting data on paper, if they are collecting it at all. But now, surgeons from Vancouver, British Columbia, have developed a way for their peers at a Level I trauma center in South Africa to accurately collect and analyze trauma care data via an iPad app. The study is published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Traumatic injuries are among the world's top public health problems. Each minute, at least nine people die from an accidental or violent injury, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,*and 90 percent of trauma deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries where injury surveillance is not accurately performed.

Moreover, the global medical community has been more focused on infectious diseases, even though traumatic injuries account for more deaths than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to Morad Hameed, MD, MPH, FACS, FRCSC, associate professor of surgery and critical care medicine at the University of British Columbia, and a trauma surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital.

"People think injuries are accidents, and nothing can be done," Dr. Hameed said, "but most injuries are preventable. With the right data and the right health care standards you can make a favorable impact."

Access to the right data starts with having the right tools. Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, provides superb clinical care to the 10,000 patients seeking trauma services each year, Dr. Hameed said, but they were collecting admissions data on paper. No data were being collected on procedures and patient outcomes.

The first step for Dr. Hameed and his team was to help redesign Groote Schuur Hospital's one-page patient admission r
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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