Experts harp on IT solutions to Nigeria’s healthcare

SOME experts on Information Technology (IT) have canvassed for the adoption of electronic health management to boost Nigeria’s health sector.

The experts said that the use of IT would save lives, build a database and reduce man-hour loss in health facilities.

The stakeholders made the call in different interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the on-going 62nd National Council on Health (NCH) meeting on Wednesday in Asaba.

They opined that many patients, particularly accident victims, die daily in hospitals due to lack of medical information.

According to Mr Gideon Iranloye, the Managing Director, Calm Global Information Technology Limited, only an electronic health management system can provide a centrally coordinated database of patients in the country’s health sector.

“Why electronic health management? The governing principle is that patients’ caregivers and other relevant stakeholders are linked together to ensure a progressively better outcome, in a model that continuously learns and improves.

“The traditional healthcare system is complex; hospitals and healthcare services involve many actors and span many sectors with hundreds of staff working in professional, functional and geographical groups,” he said.

He said that with a coordinated electronic system, patient’s information could be centrally managed and monitored for effective and efficient service delivery, by all stakeholders to ensure timely intervention to save lives.

“We are here in Asaba to present this technology to the NCH, the highest decision making organ in the health sector in Nigeria, where I delivered a paper on the proposal for an electronic health management solutions.

“We have developed `Kokomdapp’, a bespoke electronic health system that unlocks a unified healthcare monitoring, interaction and communication between patients, healthcare practitioners and industry stakeholders.

“Our solution is a web-based application, built according to global standards and technology that allows vertical and horizontal scaling, enabling the provision of the right care, at the right time in the right place, by the right resources with the right skill sets.

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“Koko has gone from being a concept to a mature and constantly evolving enterprise solution that is proven to save lives, monies and strengthening healthcare,” he said.

He noted that government-private partnership would not only ensure saving of lives but strengthen the progress in consolidating the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

“Whether you talk about primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare, they require a central and coordinated database, to help manage the health records of facility.

“Whether you are a patient or participant in the health sector, our solution is able to cover from the time the patient enters the health facility, till the time they are admitted, discharged or referred into another facility.

“However, for the government or the hospital, it is able to manage the health records of patients electronically, rather than carrying physical file, so, the records are available in electronic formats.

“The system will help to block lots of financial leakages and will enable government monitor trends and to make informed decisions that will impact the generality of the people because this solution is driven by a central database,” Iranloye said.

Another expert, Mrs Grace Niniola, the Northern Operations Manager of the firm, said that Kokomdapp remains a smart health solution to the stakeholders in Nigeria’s health industry.

She said, though there are challenges of inadequate funding and the people’s expression of fear, of job loss, the system remains the best for the government and the people.

According to her, some public hospitals in Northern Nigeria had already keyed into the electronic health management system, though not without challenges.

“In spite of the perceived challenges of funding, and fear of job loss, everyone needs the app and the system will make life easier for everyone.

“We have the records of many in the country that we have lost to accidents and other cases, while trying to run a blood test, establish HIV status and what have you, before treatment, all just because of medical bureaucracy.

“One of the things the Kokomdapp is bringing to Nigeria is efficiency and speed to healthcare delivery.

“If most of our hospitals have this application, it will save the time of queuing for too long, to move files and as well save the leakages of funds because the application has an accounting package,’’ she said.

Mr Patrick Emije, a staff in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the decisions reached by this NCH would greatly impact the country’s health sector.

According to him, the NCH decisions will take the health sector to the next level in line with the current administration’s agenda towards achieving the UHC in the country.

On the application of IT solutions, he said that anything that fast tracks delivery of information in the health sector was a welcome development because it would provide for a timely and prompt intervention to save lives.

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