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MFL that in some countries is a document (a pdf or Ms Excel file or Ms Word document) developed and maintained by a department in the ministry of health. Not many entities are involved in this endeavor. The problem with that is, the stakeholders who are not involved are not aware of this registry. Even when they are aware, they have no input in the process of its development or its update. The result is, they maintain their own ‘mini MFL’ that they trust and serves their needs. This process undermines a truly master and authoritative national registry of health facilities where everyone can draw from.
The other important registry is the patient registry. Many countries are either setting up or scaling up EMRs. For these to work efficiently and in support of health facility workflows, each patient must be uniquely identified in the system through a non-volatile method. That is where patient registry comes in. Unfortunately, there are a few success stories in developing countries where this has worked well. Im aware of a country that uses that national ID as the same patient ID. In other countries, national ID cannot be used for obvious reasons. Bottom line is, country players need to come together and agree on a method to uniquely identify the patients.