By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has signed an Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) with Helium Health and Sterling bank Plc, for the digitisation of patients’ data in Ekiti hospitals.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU in Ado Ekiti, the state capital on Thursday, Health Commissioner, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, said the project would improve access to patients’s medical record and transform healthcare services in the state.
He said the partnership would help the healthcare system to leverage on the private sector to modernise the sector for an improved service delivery to the citizens of the state, and act as a boost to the N2.5 billion already invested in the sector this year.
Filani described technology as a critical weapon that can strengthen the health sector through accurate collection, processing and storage of healthcare records that will improve quality of healthcare services by providers.
“Digitisation process in health system all over the world helps to reduce wastages and redundancy as well as inject transparency and accountability into our medical facilities.
“I know with this technological innovation, there will be a tremendous improvement in the keeping of healthcare records and quick delivery of healthcare services in our facilities”, Filani said.
The Head Regional Growth (Public Sector ), Helium Health, Abiola Osunniyi, disclosed that the organisation would commit a sum of N300 million to provide digital technology for some healthcare facilities in the state.
Osunniyi, who added the focus would be principally on secondary health facilities as pilots, said four general hospitals would be used to kick start the project that would be co -financed by the three partners.
Osunniyi said: “The MoU is to provide critical health infrastructure for digitisation of the four hospitals in Ekiti that will be used as pilots before expanding . The essence is to digitise the patients’ data, so that our doctors can access them easily for improved and quick healthcare delivery.
“One of the core mandates of the Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s government is delivery of quality healthcare to the citizens, so as a private organisation, we want to support the government through provision of technology in our hospitals.
“We have done this partnership with Akwa Ibom and Lagos States’ governments, which revolves primarily around technology to bridge the gap that exist in patients’ data, there is usually a gap. The old days when patient’s data are contained on papers were over.
“In most cases, patients records got lost, but with provision of these digital infrastructure, their data can be protected. When data got lost, the doctors may ask the patients to repeat treatments or operations or tests that might be deleterious to the patients, because of delay.
“Our plan is to introduce electronic Medical system, so at the mention of your name as a patient, your records will be displayed . Accurate healthcare data and storage can affect positively healthcare administration.
“We are leveraging the private sector to raise funds for the state. We are in partnership with banking and telecommunication sectors to help the.publuc sector . We are investing a sum of N300m to drive the project”.
The Group Head of Health, Sterling Bank Plc , Mrs Ibironke Akinmade, disclosed that the kernel of the partnership is to ensure easy access to medical records and reduce leakages in the system.
“The Sterling bank six months ago set up some funds to help in digitising some of our health facilities as part of our focus to improve health, education, energy and agriculture sectors, which are our focal areas in the development of our country”, she said.