General Hospital connects with modern technology
St. Kitts, April 25, 2010 (SKNIS): The new Hospital Information System (HIS) was described at a technical milestone because it enables computerization of the hospital records and billing system, when it was launched last Thursday (April 22).
Director of Technology Wesley Wharton said that the introduction of the technology heralds new efficiencies and completely modernizes the way in which the Ministry of Health and the Joseph N. France (JNF) Hospital manages interactions with the many patients that utilize the health services.
“This is a remarkable achievement for St. Kitts and Nevis, as this capability is in comparison, not yet available even in some developed countries,” Mr. Wharton enthused. “The Technology Department with the support of our Taiwan partners has been able to put together a system which manages the patients’ records throughout the patients’ visit to the hospital and makes for greater efficiency in patient care.”
Mr. Wharton noted that this is just the beginning of such technology in patient care. He said that future accomplishments should be the inclusion of all local hospitals in the HIS.
The Director of Technology also mentioned that a pilot programme had been introduced to the nurses at JNF, which guided them in the use of hand held devices such as the iPhone and Blackberry in order to access websites with updated medical information including drug interaction, doses and technologies for remote patient monitoring.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Mr. Elvis Newton commended the JNF Staff for their diligent involvement in the development of the technology and acknowledged the Republic of China (Taiwan), The Cable and the Staff of the Department of Technology. He explained how the project began as a result of a World Bank funded HIV/AIDS project.
“Its intention then was to get an entire Health Information System to serve the entire health sector, but on the four different occasions, based on the consultancies that were done, the Ministry was advised that we needed US$800,000 to develop the system,” Mr. Newton stated. The project did not countenance that cost, so we had to turn to the Republic of China (Taiwan), to ensure firstly, the development of the appropriate technology, then also we had to turn to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Ministry of Sustainable Development to secure the funding.”
Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) His Excellency Rong Chuan Wu said that the HIS is an excellent example of effective collaboration.
“The international ICT corporation is not easy, because it not only involves technology but it involves knowing the mentality and culture,” His Excellency Wu noted. “For the last two years I have learnt that the process in not easy but finally we are going to harvest the results. So let me recommend and congratulate all the parties involved.”
Minister responsible for Technology Honourable Glenn Phillip, said that he was pleased with the process.
“It is therefore essential that the medical staff properly utilize this wonderful tool to realize the resulting benefits to be derived when ICTs are applied to support existing process and also to ensure that our citizens obtain the improved service that they richly deserve,” Minister Phillip said.
Minister responsible for Health Honourable Marcella Liburd said that it was important to use the opportunity to ensure efficient and effective service to the general public.
“Despite the financial and other challenges that we are going through, at this time, the government had great input in what we are witnessing today,” Minister Liburd emphasized. “The government was responsible for the equipment, and I understand that it is state-of-the-art. We collaborated with the Republic of China (Taiwan), who were responsible for the technology and training in collaboration with the Department of Technology.”
Minister Liburd said that Ambassador Wu had noted that St. Kitts was a leader in Technology and she stated that this would not have been possible with the assistance from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).