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New system to share info between hospital and polyclinics

The pilot project of a Health Information System that will see healthcare institutions sharing information about patients will be implemented by November.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY during a recent interview Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand, who recently retired from the Ministry of Health as acting chief medical officer, said the system which captures, stores, manages and transmits information related to the health of individuals or the activities of organizations that work within the health sector will begin between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and several polyclinics.

The expectation is that the system will be eventually expanded throughout the entire health system.

Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand
Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand

According to Dr Ferdinand, who was chairperson of the task force responsible for introducing the initiative, the system which has already been implemented by various international healthcare facilities would make the process of receiving results, a smoother and faster one.

“So if I come to one clinic today, for example, and I see this doctor, my diagnosis and my treatment are stored on the system. Then next week, I decide I may go to another clinic and when the clinic puts in the name, up will pop the information that ‘miss so and so’ has been to one clinic and this is the treatment that was given,” she explained.

“Also, it’s easy to get your results back so if you order blood tests or X-rays, it would go to the lab at the QEH or the X-Ray Department and the doctor would have to go into the system to see the results. Right now, the paper trail is so burdensome because you have to write the forms up, it has to go to the lab, the forms have to be sent back, [they can] get lost or filed in the wrong file and the person has be retested. This helps to streamline all of that.”

Dr Ferdinand said the costly venture being funded by the Government and the World Bank was long in coming and should be put to good use when fully implemented and functioning.

“This system will ease costs on the administrative end as we try to make the service more efficient,” she said.


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