CANADIAN HEMOPHILIA ASSESSMENT AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT information SYSTEM
CHARMS is a computer software program designed for use by Canadian hemophilia clinics. These clinics, 26 in number ( with 2 in Vancouver and 2 in Calgary) and distributed across Canada, provide services for individuals with congenital bleeding disorders. They are linked together through their membership to the Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada (AHCDC), and through activities related to Canadian Blood Services (CBS), which provides blood products free of charge to affected individuals, and the Canadian Hemophilia Society.
The complexity of hemophilia care results in a heavy demand for data gathering, its maintenance in a retrievable form, and statistical analysis. Documenting of the use of blood products is a special problem, necessary both because of the potential for side effects and high cost. The distribution patterns, the variety, and indications for use of these products are complex, making accurate documentation and analysis a challenge.
A dedicated and custom designed computer program is an indispensable component of a national blood products management system. Blood products are mostly administered by the affected individuals and their families at home, and information on their use is therefore inaccessible to the management systems of the national blood distribution authorities and hospitals. Hemophilia clinics on the other hand maintain a close relationship with the hemophilia population and therefore are in a unique position to access detailed and accurate information.
CHARMS has been designed to aid individual patient management and overall quality assurance, and to store and analyze data on blood product utilization, at the clinic level. Data can be transmitted in an anonymous form to the Centre Point Module, which has been designed in conjunction with CHARMS. The Centre Point Module can then be used, by the AHCDC and CBS, to analyze data in various ways so as to track trends in utilization and detect side effects early.
CHARMS has been designed by the Computer Services Unit of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. It was commissioned by the Canadian Blood Agency (the predecessor to Canadian Blood Services), and by the Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors who supervised its development. It is currently available in English.
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