ICT In The Health Sector Brings New Opportunities

Entornointeligente.com /

Modernisation of the public health system will create new jobs in the sector, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

He was referring to the Health Strengthening Programme that will see an information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure being put in place to network all public health institutions.

Minister Tufton shared the details following a recent tour of a data centre at e-Gov’s offices on Old Hope Road and the warehouse located at Cable & Wireless on Carlton Crescent, both in St Andrew.

«A system of this kind needs maintenance so it does create an opportunity for a set of skills to be a part of the process with all the security features,» he said.

The US$8.4-million project will see authorised personnel being able to access real-time data for patient treatment, as well as to facilitate telemedicine.

Against that backdrop, Minister Tufton said adapting to the change-management function of the new system may pose a challenge to some health professionals «because it means that doctors and nurses will have to be trained».

«[They also have to be] willing, more importantly, because though what they are going to be required to do is fairly simple, they will have to migrate from paper [to digitally storing the data,» he stated.

The Minister said from his personal observations of international hospitals using a similar ICT system, the «big hurdle is getting people to adapt».

He further added that part of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) programme is to hire a consultant to help with a change management function.

«So, it means going into the institutions, talking to them, gradually making them absorb and get accustomed to it, and that will be ongoing as part of the process,» Dr. Tufton said.

The IDB with support from the European Union is financing the programme.

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