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2018 ISSUE

Going Digital: Implementing an Electronic Medical Record in Totonicapan Hospital, Guatemala


John Preston Baker & Korey Marshall

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The initial version of an electronic medical record system (EMR), known as SABER 1.0, was implemented in the Emergency Department of an under-resourced hospital in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Over the course of one month
during the summer of 2016, Guatemalan medical students and physicians were trained to use the SABER software, and 63 initial test electronic records were produced. These initial trials indicated that electronic records only took 23 additional seconds to produce and resulted in significantly more patient data in comparison to paper
records. In addition, survey results indicated that the Emergency Department staff were enthusiastic about adopting an EMR. However,
they also expressed concerns about potential loss of data and difficulties involved in the incorporation of new technology in their hospital. Based upon these results, recommendations were made to continue with the implementation of SABER with several specific improvements that will increase speed, convenience, and functionality
of the software. The SABER project demonstrates that EMRs can benefit both patients and staff in resource-limited


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