ICTA facilitates Covid-19 Response in the Health Sector
Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) made a significant contribution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government Health sector during the Covid-19 emergency period. ICTA in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, introduced Hospital Health Information Management System (HHIMS) to 40 Government Hospitals few years back. This system is a free and open source web based Health Information System designed to manage medical records of the patients. HHIMS was implemented in Homagama Base hospital in the year 2016. With the recent decision of the Ministry of Health to select Homagama Base Hospital as a Covid-19 Special Treatment Center, ICTA further improved the system to cater the new requirements and implemented within few days. A dashboard was developed for the medical administrators to see the real time data on performance of the hospital.
Dr. Janitha Hettiarachchi, Medical Superintendent, Base Hospital, Homagama “Base Hospital Homagama was declared as a special COVID 19 treatment center by ministry of health due to prevailing pandemic situation. We had to immediately withdraw from all the routine patient care and prepare the hospital immediately to cater that challenging need. Patient information handling is critical in such a setting to provide patient care, and to trace contacts. Upon request from our hospital, Digital Health team of ICTA dedicated to fullfill our requirement in health information management aspect. I would like to appreciate the enthusiasm they showed. Entire HHIMS team worked around the clock including holidays to achieve this target in a matter of few days. With participation of Health Informatics Unit of BH Homagama, HHIMS team established a computerized admission system which facilitate capture of patient information, electronic disease notification, Special system generated real time reports which empowered decision making and a Hospital dashboard which enabled us to make "evidence based" decisions in managing the hospital. I would like to thank ICTA team for being a strength to us during this critical time”. In the current context, a new requirement emerged to send the drugs of the clinic patients to their houses. Since the HHIMS store all the medical data of the patients including the previous prescriptions, this task was easy. HHIMS facilitated the hospital staff to see the previous prescription and the demographic information of the patient, therefore it allowed to send the drugs to their doorstep. During the Covid-19 health emergency period, social distancing was one of the key factors for controlling spreading the disease. Therefore, patient consultations and internal staff meetings within the hospitals and among the stakeholders were challenging during this period. As a solution ICTA introduced meet.gov.lk, a video conferencing solution to these hospitals which enabled to conduct patient consultations and meetings remotely.
Dr. Dammika Jayalath, Provincial Director of Health Services, Western Province “Appreciate timely response of ICTA during the Covid-19 pandemic for Western Province Covid Center with customized HHIMS for Covid patients’ management at Base Hospital Homagama and Minuwangoda, and video conferencing facilities”.