By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
GRAND Bahama Minister Dr Michael Darville told healthcare professionals at a workshop in Grand Bahama on the Integrated Health Information Management System that it is a “win, win for the Bahamian people” and plans are to implement it over the next 12 to 18 months.
Dr Darville said that after nearly three decades, a single digital platform linking all public hospitals and clinics throughout the Bahamas will soon become a reality.
“I am pleased to join you as we celebrate yet another historic milestone in the development of healthcare here in Grand Bahama and across the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” he said.
A workshop for the official launch of the design start for IHIM is being held at the Pelican Bay Resort for doctors and healthcare professionals.
Herbert Brown, managing director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA), was also in attendance and brought remarks.
An $18.4m contract was signed last August by the government with AllScripts and their partner, Infor Lawson, for an Integrated Health Information System (I-HIM) proprietor software.
Dr Darville said the system would allow doctors to have access to patient medical records at their “finger tips.”
He explained that if a patient was seen at a clinic in Inagua, and on another occasion was seen by a doctor at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Grand Bahama, their medical records would travel with them in a seamless digital fashion.
Dr Darville assured his listners that the system would have security features that would make it virtually impossible for a patient’s medical records to fall into the wrong hands.
When fully implemented, he said, it will enhance the procurement and delivery of life saving medications, and automatically alert physicians to a specific patient’s problems.
“As a minister of this government, but also as a physician who has practised in both the public and private sectors, electronic medical records that can be instantly accessed anywhere in the public health network on any island or cay throughout the Bahamas is a game changer,” Dr Darville said.
He believes the system will dramatically raise the standard of care provided to patients, elevate the potential for healthcare services and create a greater measure of efficiency, productivity, and patient safety.
“Sometimes in the healthcare system we operate in silos; you have a physician in the clinic doing one thing and when the patient arrives in the hospital the physician (there) does another thing. And so, what we find is that we have duplication in the delivery of pharmaceuticals.
“We all know that when we bring patients to our office and we say bring the bag of medication and when you open the bag, you are about to fall out because the doctor at the clinic is giving medication, the doctor in the hospital is giving medication, and the pharmacy is giving medication. And here we have three sets of medication for one month, a complete wastage and duplication, and loss of precious resources.”
In terms of improvements and renovations in healthcare, Dr Darville said that significant capital projects are underway in Grand Bahama.
He mentioned the soon to be completed expansion of the West End Clinic, that renovation and expansion will commence early this year at the High Rock Clinic, and that renovations and expansion are already on the way at the RMH.
“These projects undertaken do not only reflect a commitment to improve health care infrastructure across Grand Bahama, but is positive proof that this government is committed to making the necessary investments to improve the health and well being of all Bahamians prior to launch of universal health care through NHI,” he said.
Dr Darville also stressed his commitment to a new multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art clinic in Freeport.
“I am pleased to share that the PHA is preparing to move forward with ground breaking of the construction of the much anticipate 62,000 sq ft Freeport Community Clinic,” he said.
“Once final approval has been given, residents will shortly be able to access quality primary healthcare and oncology services at this state of the art, single-story, comprehensive public healthcare facility located in a new 50-acre greenfield site just off East Sunrise Highway,” he said.