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In health care, information about health clients is important so health workers can do
their best to ensure that their clients are properly cared for. With the speedy
development of the Internet, the health information of patients can be retrieved
instantly; otherwise it can take weeks and this long delay can create problems for
patients, their families and health centres. However, data collection, particularly with
the use of information technology, can cause problems which do not normally occur
in the traditional data collection approach. This paper examines the concepts and
issues relating to the development of an integrated health record system and
identifies problems which are faced by health workers in relation to intercultural

The Internet has been hailed as a revolutionary superhighway which connects numerous global villages
together. It is a unique phenomenon that no one could imagine in the last century. Business institutions,
particularly the banking section, have brought their companies to the homes of individual clients. Bill
payment, stock exchange, e-tickets, teaching and learning processes can be undertaken via the Internet.
The virtual world is increasingly becoming a real world of human interaction. However, this electronic
paradigm has not created a big impact on health care. As Laughnan simply illustrates: If you are a resident
of Wisconsin and insert your card in an ATM in San Francisco, the system will immediately recognize you,
your bank, and your financial records. But if you find yourself in an emergency room you'll likely need that
same card to pay for an extensive series of tests because your medical record is a piece of paper sitting in
your hometown doctor's office. (Laughnan 1997)

An integrated electronic health record system on health is needed for the following reasons:
�Patients do not always know their health conditions and remember their
health treatment history.
� There is a need for health workers to access the same information from a
common source so they have adequate information about their patients.
� Testing and related results held at different health centres should be made
available via a common e-system.
� An integrated health record system can be of great interest to research,
health management and administration.
Mount (2000) identifies the following additional benefits for the healthcare
� Better-informed policy development;
� Improved resource allocation and management;
� Outcomes and cost-benefit analysis of interventions;
� Identification of causes and risk factors of disease;
� More efficient collection of demographic data for management and
epidemiological purposes;
� Monitoring of disease outbreaks and adverse reactions; and
�Establishment of registers for diseases, devices and treatments.

communication, privacy and safe data collection in health care.


1. Irrelevant or duplicate data collected
2. Pertinent data omitted
3. Erroneous or misinterpreted data collected
4. Too little data acquired from client
5. Data base format causes disorganized health status profile
6. Poor documentation from staff
7. Conflicting data
8. MD’s handwriting
9. Language barrier
10.Insufficient time
11.Lack of equipment

Data Collection Problems

Failure to establish Operational Definitions
• When and how often to collect data
• How to collect data
• Units of measurement
• Criteria for defects
• Handling of multiple defects

Data Collection Problems

Adding bias to the collection process
• Slowdown or speedup
• Fear
• Errors in procedures
• Missing data
Basic Tools for Process Improvement
Basic Tools for Process Improvement
The attitudes and perceptions of the data collectors can affect what they see
and how they record data. If there is a sense that the data will be used against
them, workers may use the data collection process to cast a favorable light on
the process being studied. You have to get past this fear in order to collect
accurate data. You might want to consider an amnesty program.
Data collectors need to be assured that their leaders realize that the data
gathered in the past may have been tainted by fear. This requires a
commitment by your leadership that the new information—possibly less
glowing or flattering—will not be compared against old data or their perception
of how your process operated in the past.
Failure to follow the established Data Collection procedures can add errors to
the data. This bias occurs when the Data Collection instructions, training, or
checksheets are not adequately prepared and tested in an operational
environment. You need to conduct initial training on Data Collection and then
perform a small-scale Data Collection trial to see if it all works smoothly. The
small-scale trial may uncover some problems which need to be ironed out
before you can actively pursue a larger scale Data Collection effort. The trial
may reveal that you need to make a minor change in the checksheet to make
it clearer or easier to use, or that additional training on Operational Definitions
is required to calibrate the eyes of the data collectors.
Data may be missing. Don't assume that missing data will show the same
results as the data you collected. The fact that the data are missing is a clue
that they may be different from the rest. It is best to number the checksheets
sequentially to make it easier to verify that you have them all and that all the
required samples have been taken.