Behind the Scenes: An Electronic Records System for Matata Hospital

Background: Global Partners has been working with Matata Nursing Hospital in Oyugis, Kenya since 1991 when the hospital was operating under candlelight and requested a grant to purchase a generator. Since then, we have helped renovate their maternity ward, constructed satellite clinics, and funded a borehole well to ensure a clean and consistent water supply for staff and patients.

Since the beginning of March 2015, Global Partners’ staff has worked with Mark Lancaster to evaluate the need for and feasibility of funding an electronic health system at Matata Nursing Hospital. When the vetting began, Lancaster worked for an electronic health records software company, and he has extensive experience bringing software to hospitals across Africa.

Matata hospital currently uses a paper-based system for all patient and financial records. As Mark worked with John Malago and James Tindi from Matata on the technical side, Daniel and Amy established a better understanding of the hospital’s long-term goals and how the e-records system would help them get there. One of the hospital’s main goals was to strengthen institutional capacity through improved ICT for efficient service delivery and to strengthen records management systems.

As the hospital transitions gradually into the modern medical world, an electronic records system is essential for their long-term self-sustainability. Such an advancement will help Matata operate with more clarity, serve patients more effectively, and improve its financial systems.


Services & Costs: After receiving quotes from multiple service providers, Matata hired Infogen, an ICT company operating out of the closest city, Kisumu, to manage the installation and ongoing maintenance of the system. There have been multiple iterations of budgets from Infogen based on our requests to simplify and downgrade from the initial estimate. Given budget constraints and a desire to start slowly to analyze the hospital’s commitment to the system, our contact at Infogen was extremely helpful in reining in the budget down to a one-time cost of approximately $25,000. This budget covers the internet setup ($7,000), structured networking ($5,800), computer upgrades ($4,575), tablets ($4,400), and Infogen labor ($2,100). This will bring the system into the outpatient department serving the pharmacy, filter clinic, laboratory, and x-ray and the inpatient department serving the maternity and pediatrics wards.


Sustainability: Over time, the hospital expects to save approximately 450,000 Kenya shillings (about $5,000 USD) per month from the e-records system. For example, when patients currently visit the hospital at night, they are often not effectively charged for services, and the electronic records system will help ensure that patients are consistently invoiced and inventory is properly managed.

Ongoing maintenance costs for the software and internet will equal approximately $13,779 per year. The hospital decided to postpone the development of their mortuary for one year to cover these costs until the system begins to save them at least a portion of the system’s operating costs. Matata has agreed that they will be able to cover these ongoing costs without outside funding sources.

As the communities in which we work begin to develop, programs like these can help them launch into an era of true self-sustainability and poise them to improve the landscape of their communities on their own.

Currently, this project has not been fully funded, and the hospital is prepped to receive the system whenever the funds become available.

For more information on this project, contact Daniel Casanova at (707) 588-0550 or at


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