Image Gallery: African Hospital Digitizes Medical Records

A digitized and networked hospital in Botswana, Africa provides care based on U.S. best practices for electronic medical records and clinical systems.




The non-profit Bokamoso Private Hospital in Botswana, Africa opened in January. The hospital project took just 20 months and cost $100 million.

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The $6 million budget for all IT systems, included the hospital's e-medical records system, computerized physician order entry, and other clinical systems, as well as business-related systems such as supply chain software.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


The 200-bed (soon 300-bed) Bokamoso Private Hospital is staffed by 200 nurses and 80 doctors, including 30 from Botswana and 50 expatriates from the U.S.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


The project was funded by two major health plans in Africa -- Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS) and PULA Medical Aid Fund -- which provide services to about 15% of Botswana's population.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Most of the hospital's staff had previously worked at organizations that were mainly paper-based. A few, including Bokamoso's chief medical officer, formerly a medical leader at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, had familiarity with electronic medical records and other clinical information systems.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


A big advantage to building digitized hospitals like Bokamoso from scratch is that there aren't legacy systems involved, and electronic processes start fresh.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Bokamoso has ties to U.S. hospitals -- it's an affiliate of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis and has on its advisory board representatives from a variety of American hospitals, including the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, John Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Weill Cornell, University of California at San Francisco, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


That hospital's staff, doctors, and other clinicians were trained from the start with digital processes, such as ordering lab tests and documenting patient care are done electronically.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


The Bokamoso hospital will care for more than 7,000 patients this year, and in the next two years, that figure is expected to double.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Key hospital staffers have remote access to the EMR and hospital information system through Citrix, which provides Internet-based access to 30 concurrent users from any location, such as a doctor's home office.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Among technologies used in the hospital: Magnum Suite, a health information system from Religare Technologies, an Indian firm based in Bangalore, India. So far, the hospital is using 30 Magnum modules, including patient registration, CPOE, clinical documentation, supply and procurements, pharmacy, labs, radiology and picture archiving, and communications systems (PACS).

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


An internal IT staff of about 15 manages the systems and on-site data center, and that team is supplemented by another three people from Aspen Advisors.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Although many rural U.S. communities still lack broadband, those services are available in the Botswana region, helping to make this state-of-the-art hospital possible.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


The Botswana hospital was developed and managed by OR International. To date, OR International has opened similarly paper-less, film-less hospitals in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and discussions are in the works for a facility in Poland.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward


Cisco is the provider of the redundant data network system, including wireless, VoIP and telephony services.

Learn More: Botswana Hospital Takes A Digital Leap Forward

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