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The Ministry of Health and Environment is working to develop its e-health infrastructure.
Making his contribution in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives today (June 3), Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, said that “e-health provides an appropriate response to the optimal use of our scarce resources.”
E-health is a healthcare practice, which is supported by electronic processes and communication, and includes clinical e-health and tele-health.
Minister Spencer noted that e-health is especially important to a developing country such as Jamaica, in order to better finance health care and to retain skilled workers, who are essential to the quality and sustainability of the health care system.
“This infrastructure must relate to and interface with other government agencies. We anticipate a number of benefits from the development of our e-health infrastructure such as: real time access to patient information; reliable connectivity; greater efficiency in the management of all levels of the health services; improved ability to monitor service delivery islandwide; better and more efficient access to morbidity data at the parish and regional levels; effective referral system for patients; and the ability to quickly and accurately establish norms and standards,” Mr. Spencer stated.
On other matters, the Health Minister told the Lower House that the final acceptance test for the National Health Records System of the National Health Fund (NHF) was conducted last week. The pilot is being carried out at the Comprehensive Clinic in Kingston, after which there will be an islandwide deployment of the system.
The system will act as a tool to better maintain and manage patient information for all Jamaicans. The aim is to maintain a database of basic medical information for all Jamaicans to facilitate easy access by medical providers. The information to be recorded includes blood pressure and pulse, height and weight, allergy and other medical conditions.
The NHF will also play a critical role in leading the development of the e-infrastructure.