Wednesday, June 22, 2011

IT promotes quality healthcare - Laoye

Chief Executive Officer of Hygeia Nigeria, Mrs. Fola Laoye has described Information Technology (IT) as having the capacity to promote quality healthcare services in the country.

Laoye made this observation as a guest speaker at the Information Value Chain (IVC) breakfast forum on “Redefining Healthcare through Information Technology” organised by Digital Jewels in Lagos.

She noted the importance attached to IT in the delivery of high quality healthcare services at various hospitals in Nigeria, saying that severe clinical errors could happen without the deployment of IT to aid health personnel in discharge of their professional duty.

She pointed out that without adequate use of information technology infrastructure, a healthcare giver could wrongly identified a patient, give wrong diagnosis, book the wrong surgery, and even give the wrong prescription.

Equally, she said, IT if properly deployed could eliminate allergies, aid teaching, and promote viewing of live surgical cases and platform for continuous professional education.

“IT can also be used to reduce potential clinical errors through patient identification, information regarding adverse reactions”, she said.

According to her, IT could be used to improve patient self-monitoring of chronic disease such as hypertension and diabetes, increase wide-spread of minimally invasive or keyhole surgery.

She however, warned that IT on its own would not promote clinical quality, but IT capacity and expertise would have to be enhanced through advanced staff training and staff recruitment.

Citing the example of Hygeia as a health management organisation (HMO), she said the hospital chain embarked on a major transformation programme for the HMO business.

This, she said, was necessary in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations, improve customer and provider service as well as provide a systems platform that “will support and drive current and future business growth.”

Part of this change, she said, was a key IT project and implementation of new enterprise application to support a timely and cost-effective realisation of its objectives.

“This was done to provide a best in class enterprise network that is at par with global standard”, she said.

Underlining the importance of IT to clinical quality, she informed that with IT hospitals could have secure access to digital images, mobility of electronic medical records, remote monitoring for intensive care, neonatal intensive care and ability to monitor revenues, costs, and working capital.

To demonstrate the benefits of proper handling and deployment of IT infrastructure such as connectivity bandwidth, Radiology digital imaging among other equipment, she said the hospital views up to150 X-rays per day, processes about 1000 samples in its laboratories daily, interacts with over 1200 patients daily while processing over 500 HMO client interactions every day.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D


Chris said...

It really shows that health care facilities need to employ IT experts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.

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Sam said...

Exactly, modern health care technology certainly needs IT professionals. I'm glad to hear that Nigeria's health care facilities are improving.

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