Dore Bafano Primary Hospital: Impact of Card Room Improvement

December 13th, 2021 | Viewpoint


The central card room is a place within a health facility where patient records are kept. Card rooms require proper organization, adequate staffing, and sufficient space. Furthermore, all patient information must be recorded in the electronic medical catalog system (eMCS), avoiding any duplications. The card room, when managed properly, facilitates health service delivery by keeping patient information safe and accessible.

Since the Dore Bafano Primary Hospital in Ethiopia was upgraded to a hospital, card room management was a challenge. During the transition, it was found that not all of the patient information (96,000 records) were recorded on the eMCS and there were many duplicate patient cards due to difficulty locating original cards. With mentorship support from the Digital Health Activity (DHA) team, hospital management undertook card room renovation, backlog data entry, and live registration.

Previously, due to inappropriate card arrangement, we couldn’t locate patients’ cards. This led to wastage in time and overburdened staff who would issue additional cards for the same client. But now our time is saved and the staff are happy to work in the card room,” said Letefe Eyamo, card room head.

Since the renovation, the cards are well arranged and ordered according to a medical record number. Backlog data entry is almost completed for all cards, and live registration of new cards has begun. Thus, the card room has become easily accessible and patient waiting time has decreased. As Lalimo Godana, the health management information system focal person put it, “After our hospital management decided to renovate the card room, patient waiting time decreased significantly, cards are now easily accessible and as a result, printing cost is minimized.” According to the hospital’s quality check system, the improved card room has significantly contributed to the overall hospital quality rating, from 31 to 81 percent.

Written by: Bizuayehu Elias, DHA Field Data Use Officer

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