ICT revolutionising health services in Region Five

Administrators of Region Five health services say the thrust to improve health care delivery in the region with the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which began last year, will gain momentum this year.

Recently appointed Regional Health Officer Dr Andy DaSilva said that the computerisation of the management system at the Fort Wellington Cottage Hospital (FWCH) had started last year and has led to marked improvement and efficiency in the provision of services offered by the hospital.

The hospital is now, among other ICT inputs, utilising a fully computerised management system, which tracks the use of items in its stores and provides replenishment orders at established re-order points.

The inventory management system for its stores follows acquisition by the hospital staff of state-of-the-art, touch screen computers in 2016.
Another innovation at the FWCH in using ICT in recent months is the establishment of biometrics, which is used as an employee time and attendance recording system.
“The use of biometrics as a booking-in and booking-out system, using their fingerprints, discourages theft of time by employees and is already in use and is presently ensuring maximum staff availability for patient care,” he said.

Acknowledging the ICT progress and other innovations made last year by his predecessor, Dr Steven Cheefoon, Dr DaSilva said that the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital, the second of the two hospitals in the region, is targeted for similar ICT installations this year.
He said: “We have the computers; the software, all the equipment necessary for ICT applications at the Mahaicony Hospital. We are at the moment putting in the necessary infrastructure such as desks, AC units etc., and as soon as this is over the installations will be done, so the patients can benefit from the utilisation of ICT there.”
He also disclosed that two new “smart” health centres recently completed within the region will serve as pilot projects for the introduction of ICT at the level of primary health care.
The two centres, one at Carlton Hall, Mahaicony and the other at Mon Choisi, West Coast Berbice, were completed late last year and are to be commissioned soon, pending the provision of electricity and water supply to both and the completion of other infrastructure such as signage, etc.

Dr DaSilva said that the necessary ICT infrastructure such as internet, will be placed in these two centres and the use of ICT will serve as a model for ICT utilisation at other health centres in the region. “The intention is to introduce ICT to all 17 health centres in the region over time,” he said.

Source: Guyana Chronicle