Primary health centres (PHCs) across India provide antenatal, delivery and postnatal healthcare to expecting mothers. In case the expecting mother suffers from a pregnancy-related medical condition that cannot be treated at the PHC, she is referred to the nearest specialist or secondary hospital. The objective of this paper is to present a minimal, affordable and interoperable extensible markup language (XML)-based electronic referral (e-referral) prototype. The e-referral system transfers patient information from the PHC to a specialist at any hospital, for pregnancy-related medical problems. A subject matter expert (SME) panel was formed to identify the minimal dataset and an optimal format for e-referrals in the maternal use case. The data quality of the proposed e-referral information was measured. The e-referral data structures were proven to be complete. The interoperability level achieved by the e-referral prototype was quantified. The minimal e-referral is human processable or syntactically interoperable. The XML-based e-referral data can be very easily integrated with existing hospital information systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Health Informatics