Health Information Systems Assessed in Mexico
Assessing an electronic health record (EHR) tool in the public health system of Colima, Mexico, is the focus of a recent scientific journal case study involving MEASURE Evaluation and its partners. Published online in the September 2012 Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, the study reviews the implementation process and perceived benefits and limitations of the EHR. It also makes recommendations to improve sustainability in a public health system.
Also, a related assessment of health information system performance in the Guanajuato state, Mexico was to be presented at the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing, China, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2012.
Dr. Juan Eugenio Hernández-Ávila, director of the Information Center for Public Health Decisions in Mexico and lead author of the Colima study, helped evaluate the Guanajuato system’s performance and Colima state’s EHR implementation. Hernández-Ávila said an important aspect of the system in Colima is incorporating the work into the state and national levels. Showcasing the results from both states’ programs in the journal and at international conferences can raise further support for and commitment to effective health information systems, he said. Hernández-Ávila also said a major aim is to “demonstrate that better health information systems are linked to better health.”
The published study is titled “Assessing the process of designing and implementing electronic health records in a statewide public health system: the case of Colima, Mexico.” It analyzed the EHR design and implementation process by conducting interviews and focus groups in 2011 among physicians and other health workers who used the system. The study found that those involved thought EHR was a valuable tool that helped them in such areas as better appointment scheduling and better understanding their patients’ medical histories.
The Beijing presentation focuses on results from a 2010 rapid assessment that examined a routine health information system’s performance in Guanajuato. While the study and presentation focus on separate projects, both highlight MEASURE Evaluation’s work in improving health information systems in the Latin America and the Caribbean region so they produce accurate, timely, and complete information. This work also supports better decision making and promotes transparency and accountability in the public health system.