Bridging the digital divide in our endeavour to save vital patient database is a step in a right direction for the City of Joburg – the digital registration is one way of phasing out our dependency in relying on paperwork filing for patients.
On August 16, the City of Johannesburg reached 500 000 patients that have registered on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) System called [email protected]
This is a milestone in the history of electronic health records. Patient number 500 000, Ms Nomhle Ntsizana was successfully registered on the eHealth system at Halfway House Clinic.
“We are happy to report that this is the highest number of patients ever captured on the system in public health in Africa.”
“This is something worth celebrating and also serves as evidence that the City is transforming the face of public health” said MMC of Health Mpho Phalatse.
In June 2016, the City of Johannesburg started rolling out an Electronic Health Record (EHR) System in the 81 primary health care facilities.
This follows on the fact that there is a growing impact that eHealth is bringing to the delivery of primary health care around the City today, and how it is making health systems more efficient and more responsive to patient’s needs and expectations.
Technological advances, economic investment, as well as social and cultural changes are contributing to the realization that health and social development departments must now integrate technology into its way of doing business.
The daily business of health and social development from all its aspects – from individual care to social services – relies on information and communication and, increasingly, on the technologies that enable it, at every level and in every region.
Before the rollout of [email protected], all records in the COJ Health Department were paper-based. This presented a challenge of multiple forms in which information was duplicated.
Health practitioners had to make use of paper when capturing medical conditions and patient information. To date, 64 of the 81 clinics are connected via the Wide Area Network (WAN) consisting of fibre optic as the primary source or radio link, and in some cases a combination of the two.
In case of power failure, the system is connected to a solution that consists of generators, solar energy system, an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) System and electrical reticulation.
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Phalatse said, “The deployment of eHealth can be seen as a paradigm shift with the aim of providing patients with increased access and influence over their health situation by emphasizing patient authorization, transparency and empowerment.
“The eHealth will ensure secure storage of patient information, immediate transfer of patient information and better, safer, faster access to healthcare.”
MMC Phalatse called on Joburg residents to register onto the system and help to improve service delivery in City of Joburg clinics.
Phalatse said the physicians and nurses can now easily access the patient’s diagnostic and drug information while eliminating duplicate or unnecessary calls to laboratories or other clinics.
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These will inversely reduce operating costs and improve workflow efficiency. The City has extended eHealth to include a smart queueing system.
The queuing system will be used to stabilize patient flow in the clinics and allow for the transfer of patients from reception to consultation room using an anonymous numbering process. It includes queue monitors in the reception areas and access to booking appointments via a cell phone.
The benefits include but are not limited to a reduction in patient waiting times, and most importantly an improved experience for the patient in a health facility; resulting in the patient being treated with dignity.
She urged the public to take care of the infrastructure, to own it and make use of it and this requires cooperation from all stakeholders including patients who use the service.
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