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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, is advising healthcare workers to familiarise themselves with the computer, as the Government moves to implement a digital health-information system.

He suggested that workers, specifically nurses, could take a computer course if they do not know how to operate the device.

The Minister was speaking to nurses in attendance at the International Nurses Day Press Briefing and Launch of Nurses Week, held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, on Thursday (May 12).

“Change management is going to be a big thing, so instead of writing up [with pen and paper] you may have to type, so that a patient who is sick at Chapelton and is on his way to May Pen Hospital, because that’s where the operating theatre is, you touch a button [and the] record [is immediately] sent, so the doctor knows what’s the problem,” Dr. Tufton said.

With an investment of US$8.5 million, the Government intends to provide a modern and integrated digital healthcare system.

“It’s going to be one of the most revolutionising infrastructure to be implemented in any health system in the Caribbean and… the money is there; the contract has been awarded; it is happening,” Dr. Tufton assured.

The Minister explained that the plan is to network 130 hospitals and health centres in Jamaica to create a technology platform to allow the digitisation of patient records and for telemedicine to take place over the next few years.

He noted that a digitised health information system, as well as ongoing work to improve the physical infrastructure of health facilities, will augur well for the delivery of healthcare in Jamaica.

“We will save more lives with a better health infrastructure, and [healthcare workers] will have a better working environment than… at any other point in time,” the Minister said.

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