Special info system for medics

An integrated health care system will be rolled out within the next five months, allowing specific medical professionals qualified access to critical patient data.

Minister of Health John Boyce, who made the announcement on the weekend, said the Health Information System, to be introduced by November 30, would provide real-time connectivity to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the country’s eight polyclinics, pharmacies, geriatric hospitals and laboratories.

“This development is expected to significantly improve patient care and eventually reduce the overall cost of the delivery of this care. In Belize, such a programme has seen the development of a countrywide, fully integrated, patient-centred health information system,” Boyce said, as he addressed the welcoming ceremony and awards held for new graduates of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Barbados Association of Medical Professionals (BAMP).

“Policymakers need to make evidenced-based decisions which lead to policy formulation and the implementation of practical programmes that enable citizens to make healthy choices and lead productive lives,” he stated.

While noting the importance of timely, accurate information to quality care, the minister said data in Barbados had been fragmented, affecting the ability of health care professionals to perform comprehensive analysis. For the system to be truly effective, Boyce said it should be shared between public and private health care institutions.

As a result, he announced: “I have directed that talks begin immediately with our private health care institutions. It is my intention to chair the first such roundtable discussion before the end of this month, June.”

Meanwhile, some 51 students were welcomed as medical practitioners by UWI and BAMP at the event held at the Crane Beach Hotel. However, as the new doctors were welcomed, farewell was also said to orthopaedic surgeon Winston Seale, who is on retirement after years of dedicated service, including to the QEH.

Winston Seale receiving his  award from  BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase.
Winston Seale receiving his award from BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase.

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