Development and evaluation of an electronic bladder cancer database in Beirut, Lebanon
Background: Bladder cancer very common in Lebanon. The use of electronic health records has recently been correlated with improved medical record reconstruction, however studies of the effectiveness of these records on bladder cancer data collection remain very scarce. This study evaluates and compares the efficiency of electronic health records to traditional data collection methods in a tertiary referral center.
Methods: This is a retrospective study of prospectively filled data after a redesign of the pre-existing databases on the systems already in use. The study analyzes 175 records, 88 of which used the new format and 87 of which used the traditional method. A quantitative and qualitative comparison of variables recorded on two different databases was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of bladder cancer-specific electronic health records.
Results: The new format proved significantly more efficient. Most of the variables added to the questionnaire were missing from the control records. Some variables were searched for more than others by the students, indicating weaknesses in the intern's questioning. The prevalence of family history of bladder cancer is higher in Lebanon compared to global figures. Alcohol and tobacco were the only reported addictions. Medical students need better awareness of certain topics and better practical training.
Conclusion: The use of electronic databases should be expanded to improve the collection of medical information within hospitals. These changes should not be limited to the intern’s questionnaire but should also include specialty resident reports and long-term patient follow-ups.
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