n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - An open-access mobile compatible electronic patient register for rheumatic heart disease ('eRegister') based on the World Heart Federation's framework for patient registers : cardiovascular topics
Background : Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major disease burden in low-resource settings globally. Patient registers have long been recognised to be an essential instrument in RHD control and elimination programmes, yet to date rely heavily on paper-based data collection and non-networked data-management systems, which limit their functionality.
Objectives : To assess the feasibility and potential benefits of producing an electronic RHD patient register.
Methods : We developed an eRegister based on the World Heart Federation's framework for RHD patient registers using CommCare, an open-source, cloud-based software for health programmes that supports the development of customised data capture using mobile devices.
Results : The resulting eRegistry application allows for simultaneous data collection and entry by field workers using mobile devices, and by providers using computer terminals in clinics and hospitals. Data are extracted from CommCare and are securely uploaded into a cloud-based database that matches the criteria established by the WHF framework. The application can easily be tailored to local needs by modifying existing variables or adding new ones. Compared with traditional paper-based data-collection systems, the eRegister reduces the risk of data error, synchronises in real-time, improves clinical operations and supports management of field team operations.
Conclusions : The user-friendly eRegister is a low-cost, mobile, compatible platform for RHD treatment and prevention programmes based on materials sanctioned by the World Heart Federation. Readily adaptable to local needs, this paperless RHD patient register program presents many practical benefits.
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