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$18m Health Information System To Be Launched Next Year

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Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

THE official launch of a new, multi-million dollar integrated health information system is expected to take place in the Summer of next year, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands confirmed on Friday.

Dr Sands told The Tribune that the $18m system by Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc is expected to launch roughly a year from now, which he said is a "very ambitious" deadline given all the necessary "training" needed to operate the new system.

Meanwhile, officials from Ports International, distributor for Philips Healthcare, confirmed that it is on schedule to deliver the state-of-the-art imaging equipment procured by the former Christie administration in February 2016.

However, those officials said while some of the equipment has been shipped, others haven't due to ongoing construction in certain areas of the relevant public health facilities.

In August 2016, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc, along with their strategic partner Infor Lawson, signed a contract worth $18,389,368 with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) for the implementation of what officials said would be a "one patient, one record system".

The new system would allow for universal access of patient records by the clinics and services of the Department of Public Health and the public hospital institutions and facilities of the PHA.

At the time, government officials said the new system would replace the Keane Insight platform currently operated by the PHA and the IPHIS system currently operated by the Department of Public Health.

When contacted for an update on the process on Friday, Dr Sands said: "This is more than just going from analog to digital, this is a complete change in the way we manage patient data and information. And so you have to have clerical staff trained, you have to have the clinical staff trained and so on in order to avoid a complete disaster.

"And it's going to take some time to get that training and preparation done to migrate the systems, and there'll be a period of time where you'll have to operate both systems in parallel. Then you got to check and double-check and triple-check and then you have to pilot it and test it and so on and so forth to make sure that it actually works the way it's going to.

"So the go-live is scheduled for summer of 2018, which may seem like a long time from now but that is actually a very ambitious timeline. Believe me, having been an integral part of the implementation of the Meditech system at the Doctor's Hospital, and that was now almost 10 years ago…for a 72 bed hospital, that was a very involved process.

"The Princess Margaret Hospital has about 400 beds, the Rand Memorial Hospital a number of beds, Sandilands a number of beds, and then the peripheral clinics. So you're talking about a scope of work which is significantly bigger than Doctor's Hospital."

Regarding a separate issue, Ports International officials told The Tribune that some of the state-of-the-art radiology equipment previously procured by the former Christie administration has been shipped, and that they are on target in honoring their obligations.

The statements by those officials were in reference to the February 2016 signing of a $7.576 million agreement with Med-X International and Ports International, both distributors for Philips Healthcare, for radiology equipment.

The equipment reportedly includes four digital radiography systems, two radiography/fluoroscopy systems, three mobile x-ray units, one 16 Slice CT scanner, two 64 Slice CT scanners, two MRI scanners and six ultrasound scanners.

The equipment is expected to be installed at PMH and the Rand Memorial Hospital. However, at the time of the signing officials could not say when the equipment will be delivered and installed.

On Friday however, Ports International officials said the mobile x-rays and the ultrasound scanners have been delivered, and that officials are working on the delivery of the fluoroscopes and CT scanners with an aim to having them in the country before the end of the year.

The MRI scanners will be shipped pending the progress of the construction efforts, officials said.

When probed on the matter on Friday, Dr Sands said it would be "impossible" for him to concretely say when all of the equipment would be delivered "because we cannot start that project until some of these other projects" in the relevant public healthcare facilities "are significantly further along or completed."

"…Quite frankly at this point we're significantly behind in a lot of the renovations within the body of Princess Margaret Hospital and the Rand so that timeline is not going to be the same timeline that would have been anticipated when those commitments were made," he said. "Bear in mind we already have three separate units in the hospital which are out of commission because of ongoing construction.

He added: "...The analogy of the disruption that was experienced in part during the New Providence infrastructure improvement programme, with multiple different areas taken out of commission, I don't think we'd want to repeat.

"So we already have three wards out of commission, we are going to need to get some of that sorted out before we now go ahead and disrupt imaging. So I guess the long and short is that I cant give you a definite time as to when we're going to move ahead with that."

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

Allscripts is a Chicago based publicly traded company that had a consolidated net loss of $26 million in 2016 - not good on many fronts! Info Lawson is another U.S. public company, based in NY, that sells enterprise resource planning solutions - mainly software solutions for cloud based computing and info sharing. Looks like we can kiss the paper based privacy of our individual medical records good-bye....just about everything in the cloud seems to end up in the hands of hackers these days. It would be interesting to know if any Bahamian intermediaries of the unnecessary kind are involved in the mentioned multi-million dollar contracts, if you know what I mean. And what about the ongoing service contract costs for all of this new equipment once installed? The Tribune's reporting leaves much to be desired.

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TalRussell 2 years, 3 months ago

Comrades! Bite my lips before I go off on a minister that is fast becoming one of the the 'three' targeted poster boy's for abusing 'allscripts' kinds spending under 'KP's' warning how don't coming running him for no monies cause the PLP left the 'It's the People's time' public treasury vaults empty. Dr. Duane is far from a stupid man - so what's he up to?

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Islandboy242242 2 years, 3 months ago

Contract was signed August 2016 though.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years, 3 months ago

Repost: Just think how much money would be available to a universal single payer healthcare system if the private healthcare insurers were taken out of the equation altogether. Such a system run on the basis of the right performance metrics by independent administrators, contracted by the government on the basis of periodic competitive bidding, may be exactly what we need. The system would of course need to overseen by a panel of commissioners representing practicing physicians, hospitals/clinics, the Ministry of Health, and the public users with five year term limits on some kind of rolling basis for continuity purposes. Existing healthcare insurers could re-configure their businesses (if they so wish) to compete with both other local and foreign healthcare system administrators for service contracts with the universal single payer healthcare system. The plain reality of the situation is existing private sector healthcare insurers, while still making profits for their shareholders, have failed to control not only their own administrative costs, but also escalating healthcare provider costs. As a result very few can afford the exorbitant healthcare insurance premiums being charged by the private sector insurers today. Many believe the U.S. will have no choice but to move to a similar single payer healthcare system in the not too distant future with appropriate regulations on all suppliers of goods and services to the one system.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 3 months ago

Is this part of Universal Health Care/NHI 2.0 .......... paperless medical records sounds good and well ............ but where are you going to put these records when you do not even have a functioning hospital/clinic????? ........... Or does this include Telemedicine2.0???????????

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Reality_Check 2 years, 3 months ago

Most people fail to understand that paying health insurance for one's healthcare is just legalized gambling where:

  • The insured is the gambler;
  • The element of chance (the cards dealt or dice rolled) is the probability of the gambler remaining healthy;
  • The casino is the insurer;
  • The casino or house rules are the insurance policy;
  • The bet or wager made by the insured is the insurance premium paid to the insurer;
  • The gaming board or commission providing minimal regulatory oversight is the Insurance Commissioner at the Registrar of Insurance Companies;
  • The betting odds are set to favour the insurer by the insured's actuary who determines the likely outcome of the bet based on the element of chance within the entire pool of
    gamblers (insured individuals).

Why should the doors of the health insurance casino only be open to those of us who can afford to place high cost bets (pay astronomical premiums)? Why should everyone else be denied affordable quality healthcare when they need it? Why should insurers have the privilege of only insuring wealthier people who can afford to gamble in their casinos while the government (taxpayers) are made to foot the bill for everyone else? Why should private hospitals exist for only those who can afford to gamble while the government (taxpayers) have to fund the costs of public hospitals/clinics for everyone else?

Bottomline: Access to affordable quality healthcare should not be reserved for the wealthier among us, with everyone else left to depend on the government (taxpayers) for their healthcare needs. The unnecessary costly intermediary casinos (the private health insurers) serve no purpose other than take away resources that would be available to all under a single payer universal healthcare system. No civilized society should permit any kind of profit motivated gambling by private healthcare insurers on the healthcare needs of any of its members. Access to quality healthcare when needed is a fundamental right and entitlement in any civilized society and we must recognize this within our own society notwithstanding that the greedy private health insurers would have us believe that their existence is vital to our country's healthcare needs. That just self serving baloney on their part!

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