Fri | Jan 18, 2019

UHWI goes digital - All patients' records to be stored electronically by year end

Published:Sunday | February 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris

New patients at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) are among those whose records have been digitised as the hospital continues the process of converting to an electronic records management system.

According to chief executive officer of the UHWI, Kevin Allen, the plan is to have all sections of the hospital digitised by the end of this year.

"We have communicated to our patients that this is where medicine is going in the 21st century and they are fully much on board with us. We have not had any adverse reaction from any of our patients and I'm sure they would see the benefit of it," Allen told The Sunday Gleaner.

"We explained to them that once this system is in place, missing dockets will be a thing of the past, so when you come and present to the hospital, you will not hear, 'oh, I'm sorry, we can't find your docket', because the information will be readily available," added Allen.

He said the hospital's management has been training the staff to utilise the new system, and has been developing policies to ensure that patient information is protected.

Allen added that the initiative is being done in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences.

"The system will allow not only more efficient processing and servicing of our patient, but it will now allow the school greater access to teach the array of medical programmes that they offer and to facilitate research," he said.

The process of digitising patients' records is being undertaken by Advanced Integrated Systems and the company's chairman and CEO, Doug Halsall, said when completed, the UHWI will be the only hospital in the Caribbean and Central America that has an electronic patient record system.

Halsall said that as a result of the new system, doctors will now be better able to consult with other doctors to ensure that patient care can be better monitored. It means that X-rays, for example, can be viewed by several doctors at different locations.

"So your doctor can be looking at it, your specialist can be looking at it at the same time and they are talking on the phone," said Halsall.

"After your folder has been scanned and indexed, when you come in, it is pure electronic records that will come in after that, because the doctor is writing his prescription on a tablet, so that is being digitised, the pharmacy records are being digitised because we have already computerised the pharmacy. The next thing now is the labs," added Halsall.