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Electronic medical record system, CHITS, can retrieve patient record in five seconds - expert

“In a recent study from Quezon City, the paper record retrieval time was decreased from 2.41 minutes to less than 5 seconds,” revealed Dr. Marie Irene Sy, National Project Manager for Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS) of the National Telehealth Center (NTHC) in her presentation during the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) research forum last 14 June 2012.

“The development of CHITS has resulted in increased efficiency of health workers, allowing them to spend more time for patient care, improved data quality; streamlined records management; and data-guided decision-making, both operationally and strategically,” Dr. Sy added.

In the past, health center staff members sort through a roomful of envelopes containing patient records, which takes an average of four to five minutes depending on the availability of the record. When the record is not found, a new record will be made for which the patient will have to pay an extra cost. With CHITS, searching for a patient's record upon admission takes just a few seconds to retrieve. Records in the form of lab requests, results, and reports (daily service reports, census for number of vaccinations, supplies, etc.) can be generated automatically.

CHITS, an electronic medical record (EMR) specifically designed for the community health centers in the Philippines, was developed through a collaborative and participative process involving health workers and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community, using the primary health care approach and guided by the open source philosophy.

To date, CHITS is installed in 111 government health facilities. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and UNICEF has also supported and endorsed the adoption of CHITS in three geographically isolated and disadvantaged communities. These are Sto. Domingo in Albay, Gamay in Northern Samar, and Gian in Sarangani.