Beyond Interoperability with The Single Patient Viewer: A Clinical Portal to Access Integrated Patient Records

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Rosemary Foster
Alexa Heekes
Hannah Hussey
Mariette Smith
Themba Mutemaringa
Florence Phelanyane
Christopher Seebregts
Pierre Dane
Andrew Boulle


In the Western Cape Province of South Africa, a wealth of patient-level data is collected through many separate electronic systems, which share a unique health identifier. However, clinicians primarily access paper folders, which can be unreliable, difficult to locate and are at risk of loss. Patients frequently attend multiple facilities and their information may not be accessible across facilities, hampering continuity of care.

Objectives and Approach
Facilitated by the unique health identifier, a provincial Health Information Exchange (HIE), harmonises patient level data from routine systems into a health information exchange daily. The Single Patient Viewer (SPV) has been developed as a prototype web-based electronic health record and data access portal. SPV integrates clinical data for a single patient both longitudinally and cross-sectionally, in tabular and graphical views, to assist clinicians in rapid information discovery. The application is designed as a web application that calls a multi-purpose API that facilitates interoperability with the HIE.

SPV is in an extended pilot phase with over 200 clinicians using the portal, either for clinical care provision, or for clinical audit activities. The application has evolved to include referral, follow-up (voice call and messaging) and reporting functionality.

In the past 6 months, over 17,000 patients have been viewed with an average daily search of 150 patients. An anonymised user survey with 52 participants showed that users felt that SPV was enjoyable to use, easy to learn, innovative, and supportive and valuable to their work.

Conclusion / Implications
SPV has been developed as a global public good project and will be made freely available once matured. A unique feature of the development of SPV is that clinicians were using it while it was being built, enabling constant clinical user feedback. SPV demonstrates the value of integrating health data for clinical viewing while interoperable systems mature.

Article Details

How to Cite
Foster, R., Heekes, A., Hussey, H., Smith, M., Mutemaringa, T., Phelanyane, F., Seebregts, C., Dane, P. and Boulle, A. (2020) “Beyond Interoperability with The Single Patient Viewer: A Clinical Portal to Access Integrated Patient Records”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1614.

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