Project scope: The project aims to collaborate with PATH in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to develop an HIV module within the OpenMRS electronic medical record system. This module will enhance the existing system's capacity to manage HIV/TB/MNCH-related patient data efficiently. The project team consists of members from OpenMRS and PATH, with designated project managers overseeing the implementation. Development of this MVP is from April 2024 to September, 2024.

Stakeholders: CDC DRC, PATH DRC, ANICNS (The Digital Health Agency in DRC), DSNIS (Division of the National Health Information System) , PNLS (HIV program in DRC), PNLT (TB program in DRC), MNCH

EMR Requirements Gathering Process and Stakeholder Engagement

1. EMR Requirements Gathering Process

Initial HISEMR Site Assessment: PATH DRC began the EMR implementation process with a comprehensive site assessment. This involved evaluating existing health infrastructure, technological capabilities, and the specific needs of healthcare facilities across the country. The assessment provided crucial insights into the readiness and requirements for implementing an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system tailored to local contexts.

Sampling Health Sites: Following the site assessment, PATH DRC strategically sampled three healthcare facilities to dive deeper into understanding user requirements for the EMR system. These sites were selected to represent a diverse range of healthcare settings, including rural and urban environments, ensuring a holistic view of regional healthcare challenges and opportunities.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging Healthcare Providers: PATH DRC prioritized stakeholder engagement throughout the requirements gathering process. Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, and administrative staff, were actively involved in discussions and workshops aimed at identifying their specific needs and challenges related to patient data management, clinical workflows, and reporting requirements. The site visits included program staff from PNLS, PNLT and MNCH respectively.

Collaboration with Local Authorities: Collaboration with local health authorities and government national agencies such as ANICNS played a pivotal role in ensuring alignment with national healthcare policies and standards. By engaging these stakeholders early in the process, PATH DRC ensured that the EMR system would support and enhance existing healthcare practices while adhering to regulatory requirements. To this end, a homologation letter was submitted to ANICNS in May, 2024 to support this initiative.

3. Outcome and Next Steps

Requirements Consolidation and Analysis

  • Requirements consolidation and analysis: The data collected from the initial site assessment and sampled health sites were meticulously analyzed to identify common themes, challenges, and priorities for the O3 RefApp DRC module. This process involved synthesizing feedback from stakeholders to prioritize functionalities that would have the greatest impact on improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

  • Roadmap for Implementation: Armed with comprehensive user requirements and stakeholder feedback, PATH DRC developed a detailed roadmap for EMR implementation. This roadmap outlines key milestones, timelines, and resource allocations necessary to deploy the EMR system across healthcare facilities in DRC effectively. It reflects a tailored approach that addresses local needs while leveraging global best practices in health information technology.

  • Alignment of EMR requirements with patient workflows:

Ongoing Stakeholder Engagement

  • Continued engagements with PATH DRC team ensuring that the EMR requirements in scope are translated effectively.

  • Via PATH DRC, continued collaboration with the MOH program teams including PNLS, PNLT and MNCH to ensure EMR requirements are translated accordingly to meet the needs identified and that they are in scope for the period of implementation.

    Lessons learned and impact: