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

Surgeons were then able to upload the data to a server that created a trauma patient registry. "Even though it takes as long or slightly longer on an iPad, the database is very clean and doesn't require a lot of data cleanup," Dr. Hameed said.

Afterwards, Dr. Hameed's team and the Groote Schuur surgeons were able to analyze the data to look for patterns. The data showed that injuries were concentrated in lower income areas and most of the causes of injury were intentional. The predominant injury population was young males. "Of course you know that if you're there," he said, "but now you can quantify it."

Quantifying such data is what can lead to policy interventions, such as determining which highway intersections need traffic lights and which populations should be the target audience for injury prevention programs.

The iPad patient record is now standard practice at Groote Schuur. It has been expanded to include an operations record on which procedures patients receive, and in January 2014, it is being expanded to include a surgical outcomes record.

After this eTHR study won the first-place award for clinical research at the 2013 American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma meeting, peer surgeons have begun asking Dr. Hameed and his team about other uses for the iPad patient record.

"Natural disasters could be a brilliant application for its use as well," he said. For example, with conflicting reports about injuries and deaths during the recent typhoon in the Philippines, a tool like this could help humanitarian medical brigades collect more definitive data on the injury and death tolls.

"As long as they can set up portable Wi-Fi or access the Internet through cell phone towers," Dr. Hameed said, "this type of application is all within the realm of possibility."


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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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