Institutional SSHRC Grant: Analysis of Work Practices in a Cape Town Emergency Department

"A medical registry is a place where data, records, or samples are kept and made available for research or comparative study” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). The term registry also refers to “the systems and processes involved in the establishment, support, management, and operation” of disease registers (Medical Dictionary Online, n.d.). Research outlined here will yield an understanding of work practices in a Cape Town hospital’s emergency department. Setting up health registries—whether paper based or electronic-- requires an understanding of how work is carried out in specific medical contexts, in order to ensure that the systems and processes put in place to collect and manage registry data are compatible with existing work practices. 

Our long term goal is to develop guidelines to support development of computer supported health registries in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Research outlined here will be undertaken as a pilot study in order to demonstrate the utility of ethnographic research as a means of supporting design of health registries in LMICs. It will also showcase the contributions our team can make to improvement of epidemiological data collection in LMICs, which in turn will place us in a more competitive position in competing for international grants.