PSTU-09 - Implementing electronic health records in resource-limited settings: Challenges and opportunities

Ballroom East
Organised by The FIP Technology Advisory Group in collobaration with the FIP Hospital Pharmacy


Mr Andy Gray, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Implementing electronic health records in resource-limited settings: Challenges and opportunities

Electronic health records (EHRs) play a crucial role in modern health systems, allowing storage and sharing of information on and optimisation of patient care. EHRs have evolved into highly complex and sophisticated software systems over the years, causing interoperability problems with modern technologies that are now being abundantly developed. In addition, “classic” EHRs come with a large price tag. In this session, we will discuss lessons learned from these “old” systems and explore the possibility of using adaptable open-source software to create interoperable EHRs that can be integrated with other crucial software used in health-related domains, such as supply chain management, laboratory systems and national registries. The open-source software is also capable of integrating the newest developments in digital health technologies. All this comes at prices that are affordable to health systems in resource-limited environments.

This session aims to empower pharmacists in resource-limited health systems to actively think of implementing EHRs tailored to their current and future needs. 



14:30 – 14:35 Introduction by the chair
14:35 – 14:55 Opportunities and hurdles in implementing EHRs in high-income and resource-limited environments
Dr Robert Moss, Immediate Past President FIP Hospital Pharmacy Section, Netherlands
14:55 – 15:20 Open-source software: Leap-frogging the EHR to the future?
Dr Deshen Moodley, University of Cape Town, South Africa
15:20 – 15:45

Looking at the future: Integrated EHRs using open-source systems
Prof Andrew Boulle, University of Cape Town, South Africa

15:45 – 16:00 Panel discussion and closing

Learning objectives

  • To understand basic principles of electronic health records.
  • To know the advantages of using open-source systems to develop EHRs.
  • To be able to identify opportunities in implementing affordable EHRs in a health system.



Open-source software can offer affordable electronic health records (EHRs) that incorporate lessons learned from systems used in high-income countries and are adaptable to future developments, even in resource-limited settings.