The electronic trauma health record: Design and usability of a novel tablet-based tool for trauma care and injury surveillance in low resource settings

Eiman Zargaran, Nadine Schuurman, Andrew J. Nicol, Richard Matzopoulos, Jonathan Cinnamon, Tracey Taulu, B.A. Ricker, David Ross Garbutt Brown, Pradeep Navsaria, S. Morad Hameed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Ninety percent of global trauma deaths occur in under-resourced or remote environments, with little or no capacity for injury surveillance. We hypothesized that emerging electronic and web-based technologies could enable design of a tablet-based application, the electronic Trauma Health Record (eTHR), used by front-line clinicians to inform trauma care and acquire injury surveillance data for injury control and health policy development. Study Design The study was conducted in 3 phases: 1. Design of an electronic application capable of supporting clinical care and injury surveillance; 2. Preliminary feasibility testing of eTHR in a low-resource, high-volume trauma center; and 3. Qualitative usability testing with 22 trauma clinicians from a spectrum of high- and low-resource and urban and remote settings including Vancouver General Hospital, Whitehorse General Hospital, British Columbia Mobile Medical Unit, and Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Results The eTHR was designed with 3 key sections (admission note, operative note, discharge summary), and 3 key capabilities (clinical checklist creation, injury severity scoring, wireless data transfer to electronic registries). Clinician-driven registry data collection proved to be feasible, with some limitations, in a busy South African trauma center. In pilot testing at a level I trauma center in Cape Town, use of eTHR as a clinical tool allowed for creation of a real-time, self-populating trauma database. Usability assessments with traumatologists in various settings revealed the need for unique eTHR adaptations according to environments of intended use. In all settings, eTHR was found to be user-friendly and have ready appeal for frontline clinicians. Conclusions The eTHR has potential to be used as an electronic medical record, guiding clinical care while providing data for injury surveillance, without significantly hindering hospital workflow in various health-care settings. © 2014 by the American College of Surgeons Published by Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume218
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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