Barbados launches Med Data system
By the end of March 2016, doctors, nurses and other authorized medical personnel at all polyclinics and district hospitals in Barbados will have easy access to patient medical information through a new US$1.79 million system called Med Data.
Med Data will capture and manage the health data of all patients interacting with the public health care system. All information will be stored on a secured database and doctors across the public health care system could immediately see a patient’s records, enabling them to make better and timely decisions on the medical interventions that are required.
For example, in an instant, an individual’s medical history, latest blood test and investigations, such as X-rays and ultrasounds could be seen and assessed by attending physicians, thereby reducing duplication of effort and creating a more efficient system.
Med Data will also allow managers in the health care system to access information on the utilization of services and to make decisions based on real time data. This system also has the potential to reduce inefficiencies in the system, including doctor shopping, stock outs of drugs and medical supplies and lengthy waiting times for
Minister of Health John Boyce, as he launched the system today at the Ministry’s Culloden Road, St Michael headquarters, said the system was conceptualized seven years ago to allow for integration with respect to the delivery of care from the primary to tertiary level and to enhance interoperability, which allowed for participation in the decision making chain.
“The development of a national health information system is a major milestone at the Ministry of Health. It marks a coming of age, wherein Barbados now joins the ever increasing community of nations around the world to have a system that collates, shares and securely manages the health information of Barbados.
“Indeed the launch of the health information system represents one of the most significant health care developments over the last 10 years and has the potential to change much of the way in which we will manage our public health care services for years to come,” he added.
The Minister said the pilot project for the World Bank funded system which would complement and, over time, replace the paper-based system for information, was currently being rolled out at the Winston Scott and Edgar Cochrane polyclinics, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.