Connecting Primary Health Care: A Comprehensive Pilot Study
The collection of data within the primary health care facilities in Iran is essentially paper-based. It is focused on family’s health, monitoring of non-infectious and infectious diseases. Clearly due to the paper-based nature of the tasks, timely decision making at most can be difficult if not impossible. As part of an on-going electronic health record implementation project at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, for the first time in the region, based on a comprehensive pilot project, four urban healthcare facilities are connected to their headquarters and beyond, covering all aspects of primary health care, for the last four years. Without delving into the technical aspects of its software engineering processes, the progress of the implementation is reported, selection of summarized data is presented, and experience gained thus far are discussed. Four years passed and if time is any important reason to go by, then it is safe to accept that the software architecture and electronic health record structural model implemented are robust and yet extensible. Aims and duration of a pilot study should be clearly defined prior to start and managed till its completion. Resistance to change and particularly to information technology, apart from its technical aspects, is also based on human factors.
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