eHealth Nigeria – Instant EMR

Posted on June 5, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m completely fascinated with international EMR use. Sadly, I don’t think there’s enough information out there about the EMR software that’s being implemented around the world. For example, do you know any bloggers that write about EMR software that aren’t in the US. I knew one in Canada, but she stopped blogging.

The point being that I think there’s a lot that we can learn from other countries. I once talked to a consultant who was bidding on an EMR project in China. Things didn’t work out for me to go there and do that project, but just thinking about it was fascinating since their healthcare system is so different than ours. The needs our different. The governance is different. Yet, you’re still treating patients and trying to use technology for good.

That’s why I found this eHealth Nigeria project completely fascinating. They even have a blog and their 2 founders have blogs too. They’re implementing what seems like a really interesting project they call “Instant EMR.” I don’t know all the details of the project (but I have a feeling after this post I’ll learn more), but I can’t help but wonder if an EMR implementation in Nigeria could be instant.

Think about what takes the most time when you’re doing an EMR implementation. Here in the US we have to have everything implemented with all of our I’s dotted and T’s crossed. We have to worry about HIPAA laws. We have to deal with billing. We have to worry about ePrescribing. We have to worry about Lab interfaces. Etc, Etc, Etc. We have to deal with a lot of things that many other countries likely don’t worry about (at least not the same way).

Imagine if you had an EMR just to record the relevant data for the visit for future visits and for aggregate public health data. If you narrow it down to just those essential functions, why couldn’t you create an “Instant EMR”? I’m sure there’s more details to the Nigeria EMR than I understand from just looking at their website. However, it’s really interesting to consider the possibilities.

Plus, it’s really amazing what these guys are doing. I realized the challenge they’re taking on when I looked at their donation page. It lists the costs for what they’re trying to accomplish. One of the items on the list was “Solar and Battery Backup.” Yes, they have to provide even the power to make the EMR run. My only complaint is that they didn’t have a PayPal donation button on there.