EMR adoption in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A template to index pediatric central nervous system tumor care and a review of preliminary neuro-oncologic observations

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Purpose: To describe the design, implementation, and adoption of a simplified electronic medical record (EMR) and its use in documenting pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumors at a tertiary care referral hospital in South-East Asia.
Methods: A novel EMR, cataloguing pediatric CNS tumors was used to collect data from August 2017 to March 2020 at National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital (NINS&H) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Results: Two hundred forty-nine pediatric patients with a CNS tumor were admitted to NINS&H. Fifty-eight percent of patients were male, and the median age was 8 years. A total of 188/249 patients (76%) underwent surgery during their index admission. Radiographic locations were known for 212/249 (85%) of cases; the most common radiographic locations were infratentorial (81/212; 38%), suprasellar (45/212; 21%), and supratentorial (29/212; 14%). A histopathological classification was reported on 156/249 (63%) of patients' cytology. The most common infratentorial pathologies were medulloblastoma (22/47; 47%) and pilocytic astrocytoma (14/47; 30%). The median time between admission and surgery was 36 days, while the median post-operation stay was 19.5 days.
Conclusions: The feasibility of a basic EMR platform for a busy pediatric neurosurgery department in a lower-middle income country is demonstrated, and preliminary clinical data is reviewed. A wide variety of pediatric CNS tumors were observed, spanning the spectrum of anatomic locations and histopathologic subtypes. Surgical intervention was performed for the majority of patients. Barriers to care include limited molecular diagnostics and unavailable data on adjuvant therapy. Future targets include improvement of clinical documentation in the pre-operative and post-operative period.


Child's nervous system