JIS News

Cabinet has approved the award of a contract in the sum of US$5,029,221.24 ($779,529,292.2) to Phoenix Partnership (Leeds) Limited, for implementation of the second stage of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Management System.

ERH is the first technology-driven element of its kind in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.

It provides an electronic version of a patient’s medical history, including demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunisations, laboratory data and radiology reports.

The intention is to provide a complete and accurate summary of an individual’s medical history that can be shared to improve the delivery of care and also provide quality data for decision-makers (health professionals, directors, researchers, citizens) across the health facilities of Jamaica.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22), Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said that the contract award “comes within the context of the urgent need for enhanced integration of health systems”.

The 18-month implementation period for this contract will, in the first instance, see the rollout of the EHR in 13 facilities across three parishes.

These are the Spanish Town Hospital and the Greater Portmore, St. Jago Park, and Old Harbour health centres in St. Catherine; the May Pen Hospital and the Lionel Town, May Pen, Chapelton and Mocho health centres in Clarendon; the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital and the Ocho Rios, Brown’s Town and St. Ann’s Bay health centres in St. Ann.

Dr. Tufton informed that the EHR begins with the philosophy of ‘one patient, one record’ and will boast features that include a patient registration system for appointment setting and assignment of patients in the triage process, and seamless interface of critical diagnostic imaging that will enable doctors to see X-rays and computerised tomography (CT) scans on computers and tablets that have already been provided within these facilities.

It will also facilitate the upload and sharing of health records or dockets within the public health system, enabling health professionals to trace the history of patients and to see the interventions that have been done.

“This, therefore, will result in more efficient diagnosis and treatment. With this linking of health records, the cross-matching and information sharing between health centres and hospitals will now be possible,” Dr. Tufton said.

“This will result in significant savings for the patients, as test results will be readily available and the possibility of completing tests more than once will be significantly reduced,” he added.

The Health Minister further noted that the EHR will allow for capturing of critical health information/data that will assist in the formulation of better evidenced-based policies and programmes.

“The system, as designed, has the capacity to produce reports on the operational efficiency of facilities and will be able to provide information to the doctor, the patient, the management of the facility, the regional health authorities, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and ultimately, the Parliament of this country, in terms of the service delivery and standard of care that is being provided,” Dr. Tufton told the House.

The EHR Management System is part of the Support for the Health Systems Strengthening for the Prevention and Care Management of Non-Communicable Diseases Programme.

It is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank at a cost of US$50 million.

Headquartered in England, Phoenix Partnership (Leeds) Ltd. is a leading global provider of healthcare technology and works alongside governments to improve health outcomes, tackle inequalities in care, reduce health service costs, and improve patient and clinician experience.

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