By; Mathews Malata Jr.
Baobab Health Trust – BHT a leading health tech institution in Malawi says use of ICT in the health sector has the potential to improve service delivery.
Executive Director for BHT Martha Kwataine was speaking in Kasungu where the organisation in conjunction with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation EGPAF has organised a training for the Electronic Medical Records System- EMRs users drawn from selected health facilities across the country.
Kwataine commended the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Health and Population Services for the interest to scale up the Electronic Medical Records System across the country but was quick point out the need to maximise use of the system to help manage patient records and improve on care.
“ I urge you to take keen interest in this training and learn how you can pull data from the system and generate reports , improve patient care and track history for effective treatment and drug prescriptions” Said Kwataine.
She also encouraged people in the country to refrain from changing health passports each time they seek medical help from health facilities saying it leads to cases of mistreatment and inefficiencies.
“ Our system produces a bar code which is placed on the patient’s health passport and once all details are captured on the first visit to the hospital there will be no need to recapture details on next visit because just by scanning the bar-code or punching into the system the printed digits on the bar code, the patient records are retrieved instantly thereby saving time and enhancing efficiency” added Kwataine.
Zonal Team Leader for EGPAF Rumours Lumala said as an organisation interested in HIV And AIDS interventions they expect the trainees to understand the EMRs and effectively apply on the management of the the National Antiretroviral System -NART thereby being able to clean data and generate reports on time.
So far BHT in partnership with Ministry of health and Population Services and Luke International has deployed the EMRs in 95 health facilities mostly with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC .