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eClinics Integration Techniques for Clinical Information Systems Moving in to a National Network

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Author(s): Dinusha Vatsalan | Shiromi Arunatilake | Keith Chapman | Saatviga Sudhahar | Chamal Abeywardhana

Journal: Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics
ISSN 2012-6077

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 130;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: eCliniics | eConsultations | ViduSuwa EMR | Integration | patient-to-consultant | hospital-to-eClinics | patient-to-eClinics

ABSTRACT
Patients in rural areas in developing countries have less access to specialised consultations within their hometown. They are required to incur a great cost, time and effort to reach a health institute that provides specialized health care. Yet, it is discovered that through the utilisation of comparatively cheaper Information and Communication Technology advances, it is possible to provide better health services for developing regions. Compared to other developing nations, Sri Lanka has a good healthcare service and a relatively well developed telecom and mobile infrastructure. However, due to inequality of resource distributions, specialised care is restricted to urban areas. Hence ‘ViduSuwa’, an internationally recognized award winning tele-medicine solution was introduced to provide specialized healthcare facilities to the remote areas of Sri Lanka. In compliance with the health policy of Sri Lanka, the main emphasis of Vidusuwa is on setting up of eConsultation centers and eClinics to link the specialist in a general hospital in a city with a patient in a peripheral setting. This paper discusses the integration techniques for clinical information systems moving in to a wider network using the well tested concept ‘ViduSuwa’. The proof of this concept was implemented with one-to-one integration in the first stage connecting two hospitals. However when replicating the solution to other hospitals and moving in to a national network, other integration techniques must also be considered. The paper presents the methodology, architecture, features and security enforcements incorporated into the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system which is a main component of the ‘ViduSuwa’ telemedicine solution, in order to ensure the sustainability and replication of the concept.

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