From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English.
Electronic medical records are not only for wealthy, industrialized countries. A test project in Southern Africa suggests that using computers to store medical information may also be a good investment in poor countries.
Electronic medical records have been used for about ten years in Malawi to follow the progress of patients with HIV. Now the program is being expanded at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. The program is called SPINE – Surveillance Program of Inpatients and Epidemiology. It has three goals. The first is collecting basic information about patients' medical problems. Dr. Miguel San Joaquin says the second goal is to look for changes in the health of all patients with HIV.
Parents and children in Malawi use health passports as a portable medical record. (Alain HY Cheng)
"For example, there are issues like how are antiretrovirals working. Are certain diseases like pneumonia going down because of the introduction of new vaccines, and so on and so forth."
Dr. San Joaquin says the third goal is to help individual patients directly. Patients receive clearly printed information when they leave the hospital so they understand how to take their medicine and what they should do next. This paper is included in a document called a health passport and replaces handwritten instructions that patients received in the past.
"Now there is a very neat and clear prescription on a piece of paper that is attached inside their health passport for their benefit."
The electronic information also gives health officials new tools to deal with outbreaks of disease or other health emergencies.
There are some challenges that make it difficult to use electronic medical records more widely. Dr. San Joaquin says it takes time to put information into a computer. Electricity often fails and so do computers. It also costs about $200,000 to start an electronic records program. For the hospital in Malawi, those costs were covered by donations from Europe.
The United Nations Global Strategy for Women and Children's Health has a goal of saving the lives of 16 million mothers and children in 75 target countries by 2015. All of these target countries have been directed to include electronic records and other information technology in their national health care systems.
1.epidemiology n. 流行病学；传染病学
The study is to be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week.
2.portable adj. 手提的，便携式的；轻便的
I always carry a portable computer with me.
3.antiretroviral adj. [医]抗逆转录病毒的，抗后病毒的
We will expand the access to life-saving lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.
4.emergencies n. 紧急事件；紧急需要
I always keep some money by me for emergencies.
5.donation n. 捐款，捐赠物；捐赠
The donation will be the largest ever to the management school by one of its graduates.
马拉维使用电子医疗信息已经10多年了，用来跟踪记录艾滋病患者的情况 。目前该项目已推广到布兰太尔的伊丽莎白女王中心医院，项目名为“住院病人流行病学监测计划”，项目有三个目的，一是收集病人病情的基本信息，Miguel San Joaquin医生说第二个目标是寻找所有艾滋病人健康状况的变化情况 。
San Joaquin说第三个目标是直接帮助个体病人，病人出院时会收到有关病情的详细的印刷资料，就知道如何服药和下一步怎么办 。这份文件包含在名为健康护照的文档里，取代了过去病人收到的手写医嘱 。
然而，要广泛推广电子医疗记录还有很多困难 。San Joaquin说，将信息输入电脑需要花费时间 。电力和电脑经常出故障，而且启动一个电子记录项目要花费20万美元 。马拉维医院的费用是由欧洲的援赠负担的 。
联合国全球妇女与儿童保健战略设定了在2015年之前拯救75个国家的1600万名母亲和儿童生命的目标 。所有这些国家都要将电子记录和其他信息技术包含在全国医疗体系中 。