Government Closer to Digitized Health Medical Records System

Once the Integrated Health Information Management System (IHIMS) is fully launched and operational, doctors and health care workers will be able to provide 21st century medical care at the click of a mouse.

It was a point made by Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Michael Darville during his address at a one-day workshop for the launch of IHIMS, at Pelican Bay Resort on Monday, January 23, 2017.

“Can you imagine the huge savings that will be derived from the ability to view a patient’s record in order to prioritize the need for an emergency flight,” Minister Darville pointed out.   “And that is something that we here in Grand Bahama are very familiar with. It would be even more of a savings from a paperless system.”

The one-day seminar brought together designers of the program (Allscripts/Infor Lawson) with hospital administrators for an in-depth look at the overall program – its operating systems, and its benefits.

Minister Darville said that a key component of the new system is confidentiality.

This, he said is paramount when it comes to health care and a patient’s medical records.

He noted that as a physician, he, like all other doctors and nurses, understands the legal implications of a breach of confidentiality of patient medical records.

“That’s why the new medical digital system that will be put in place has a security feature that will make it virtually impossible for a patient’s record to fall into the wrong hands,” said Minister Darville.

“It also protects the patient from those in the public service and those in the public medical care service. Many times, as a private physician, we’ve had patients who have come to us in the private practice simply because they are afraid of their medical records falling into the hands of an unscrupulous individual in the public sector.

“That’s very important, because many of us who have practiced in the private sector, we know that there are some individuals who have lost confidence in the public health care system because information that was supposed to be confidential somehow got out into the public domain.

“But, this system, through a security measure, will be able to secure patient’s medical record in spite of its digital fashion.”

The Grand Bahama Minister said that the new Integrated Health Information Management System, when fully operational, will enhance the procurement and delivery of life-saving medications.

Even more, he pointed out that the system will also be able to alert the physician and the health care giver of potential patient concerns, prior to an event.

He pointed out that the innovation of the health information management system is a win-win for the Bahamian people and will certainly organize the public health care system throughout the country.

Minister Darville noted that for nearly three decades, the search for the single digital platform to link all of the country’s public hospitals and clinics throughout The Bahamas continued without success. “But today, I can say without fear of contradiction that the Public Hospitals Authority deserves much credit for spearheading, and identification, and procurement of a national health information system,” added Minister Darville.  “I want to personally congratulate [managing director] Mr. Brown for his commitment and sheer determination to implement new things for the Public Hospitals Authority that have brought us to where we are today.

Minister Darville told the doctors and nurses that as working professionals they will all work together with the designers of the new system over the next 12 to 18 months for the official implementation process of the new IHIMS programme.  “Speaking not only as a Minister of government, but as a physician who has practiced medicine in the public and private sector for many years, an electronic medical record which one can instantly access anywhere in a public network, in any island or cay throughout The Bahamas, is a game-changer.

“This is a mechanism that will transform what we have been doing for the last 50 years and will bring us into the digital age, allowing physician and patient to come closer together to work, not as individuals, but as a team to deliver proper health care.”

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