A recent report from South Africa has really brightened a dull day.
The report can be found here.
What the report suggests is the SA is moving steadily, and in a planned way, towards the procurement and implementation of a National Health Information System (NHIS).
It seems that more than Ireland and Lithuania have developed the e-Health bug (as reported in the weekend roundup)!
We are told that “The NHIS is intended to provide the country an overall patient information system, linking the private and public sector at local, district, provincial and national level. The public sector alone includes 369 general and 54 specialised hospitals, as well as 3 143 clinics and a number of support institutions such as medical laboratories.”
We are also told that the health department tender documents say this includes procurement of a major of a National Healthcare Management Information System (NHCMIS) which is to be installed and initiated in all the major public hospitals.
With this done an appropriately scaled-down version of the same NHCMIS in all the smaller hospitals and primary healthcare centres.
Modules selected for fast-tracking include those for patient registration, a core patient record data set, appointment scheduling and patient billing.
Priority is also be given to information systems related to disease surveillance and facility management. This makes a great deal of sense in a country that is battling and AIDS pandemic and which clearly needs to manage the available facilities as well as possible.
It is really a good thing in my view that a country such as South Africa is working to leverage what Health IT can offer and at least seems to have a plan!
A nice touch is the last paragraph of the article!
“The NHIS was dragged into the news at the weekend, when a health ministry spokesman suggested deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was sacked in part for her alleged failure to produce a health IT policy.”
While part of the down fall of the minister may be related to some very strange views on the causation of AIDS, oh! if only we could see similar political accountability for inaction in the e-Health domain Australia!
Note: The comment provided following this post suggests I may have got the role of the Deputy Health Minister regarding AIDS wrong. Please review the comments found on this post.