Why Patients Still Visit Medical Centers with no Appropriate EMR Systems

Medical centers spend at least UGX 2.5M every year on paper files and storage space, this is not to mention the difficulty in retrieving patient data and the associated risks in information storage. This is the story for most healthcare providers in Uganda.

The Elephant in the room is; do patients feel this pinch too?

One of the benefits of an EMR (Electronic medical records system) is improved results management and patient care; with a reduction in errors within medical practice. This could be one of the best things any patient would love to hear.

In Uganda, Chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and Cancer have seen a sharp rise in cases. This is mostly attributed to the change in community lifestyles.  The ministry of health states that 1.4% of all adults in Uganda have diabetes; and this is just the tip of the ice-bag given that; we still have the usual illnesses like Malaria that are constantly leading to loss of lives.

Most healthcare providers will certainly agree that there is a sharply increasing need to follow up on patients over a prolonged time to amicably handle such medical conditions. This most certainly calls for easy, quick access and retrieval of patient information.  

Many medical professionals have adopted the EMR (Electronic medical records systems) in Uganda although many are still struggling to adopt to the technology. We’re currently at a time when Ugandans have increased their healthcare expenditure. This is also the time many of these people have begun taking their health a little more seriously and now weigh pros and cons of visiting a particular medical center.

It’s true that currently, many Ugandans are still illiterate and many may still not be able to afford the quality healthcare that they desire. But this isn’t going to last very long and the information discussed below gives a clear evaluation on this.

According to the New Vision, 7th July 2019, “out of Uganda’s UGX7.5 trillion the total expenditure on health, about 41% comes from individuals paying out of their pockets for health services, 42% from donations ad 15% from government.” This simply shows how much the individual citizens of Uganda are investing in their own health.  And this number is just increasing every year.

Patients may not demand quality record keeping now, but they sure will do as their income increases and as they become more concerned about quality health.


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