A Proptotype Information Support System For The All Africa Leprosy And Rehabilitation Training Centre (ALERT)

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis discusses the development and implementation of a micro-computer based system designed for collecting and summarizing clinical information on leprosy patient visits to the hospital of the All Africa Leprosy & Rehabilitation Training center (ALERT). The medical records of leprosy patients are handled in the traditional hand written card called a Patient Card. However, many problems are associated with it. It is very difficult to find , for instance, a summary of diagnosis, treatments, sensation and muscle changes etc ., for a patient over a number of visits. The manipulation of these data for statistical analysis and make available for administrative, educational and research purposes has become very difficult. Redundant handling of data in different sections of the hospital and problem of access to the data between the sections are some added problems. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that data about leprosy patients can be stored ill micro computer databases which would be readily accessible for a variety of administrative, clinical, educational and research related activities. A prototype of two types of patient information handling system are shown in the application program: the registration data, collected once and updated periodically; and the transaction data collected each time the patient has an encounter with a health profess ional. The registration data includes Patient Name, Patient ID , Address, and Date of Birth, Sex, Marital Status, Nationality etc. Encounter data, usually linked to registration data through the Patient ID , includes the date of encounter, provider's name, signs, symptoms, diagnosis , treatments , etc. The data flows and the logical data structures required in the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy patients are designed using the data flow diagrams and logical data structures respectively . There are 29 databases designed using the procedures followed in the normalization process with the objective to avoid redundant handling of data and to avoid the three common anomalies namely insertion , deletion and modification anomalies . The major feature of these databases is that they are designed irrespective of a particular software in mind, with the objective to facilitate use of any software selected for the purpose . The thesis describes the need for the implementation of a physician' s workstation with an online medical record of leprosy patients and proposes a Local Area Network (LAN) with a distributed database management system where each section of the hospital will have their own data and share data to and from other sections but for dissemination and analysis purposes data can be aggregated at a central information unit.



Information Science