Legon Hospital rolls out paperless system to facilitate health care

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
Patients being attended to by nurses at the triage which is now paperless
Patients being attended to by nurses at the triage which is now paperless

The Legon Hospital in Accra has rolled out a paperless system to seamlessly facilitate healthcare.

It’s an online initiative which has curbed cases of missing folders and has also cut down on patients’ waiting time by about 60 per cent.

Known as the Health Information System (HIS), it has also made it possible for doctors to, know at all times, medicines which are available at the hospital’s pharmacy, thereby providing resident specialists the opportunity to consult from home.

Results of X-rays and laboratory tests have been uploaded directly onto the system connected to consulting rooms to be appraised by doctors

Apart from the hospital’s administration, which was expected to be connected in the second phase, its Medical Records Unit, Cash office, Pharmacy, wards, Mortuary and Catering services have all been connected to the system.


Rationale

The administrator of the hospital, Mr Eric Gaisey, told the Daily Graphic that cases of missing folders compelled the hospital to go digital.

About 70,451 patients have uploaded their folders onto the system since it was rolled out on December 14, 2015.

“It has facilitated the entire process of healthcare. The increasing cases of missing folders, loss of patient information, which is vital, is a thing of the past. Cross referencing by medical practitioners is very efficient and cost effective,” he said.

Mr Gaisey said the system had improved revenue collection.

System failure

He, however, expressed concern about the system sometimes going off  thereby denying doctors access to a patient’s medical records.

Mr Gaisey said when that happened, the hospital did not stop there but would  feed the required data into the system when it was restored.

“But we ensure that the system doesn’t go out for that long. If it does, we notify everybody so they could put in place a backup plan including a folder.

“The workload has been reduced by 99 per cent. It is on rare occasions that we go back to the folders. Patient confidentiality is high because folders can’t fall into the wrong hands. It makes data analysis easy and more accurate,” he added.

The Deputy Nursing Officer in-charge of the OPD, Ms Joyce Odum, said the system had made queue management in the hospital easy, thereby enabling patients to be treated on first come first served basis, as well as reducing the movement of nurses carrying folders. from one consulting room to the other

“Now a doctor is able to work without a nurse who has to be calling patients. The doctor handles it,” she said.