The Health Ministry’s electronic Patient Information System or ePIS has been successfully piloted at the National Referral Hospital in Thimphu. The ePIS is an integrated system aimed at enhancing the country’s health service by digitizing the health system. About 28 percent of the project has been achieved so far.
More than two hundred fifty patients were registered during the three-day trial conducted about a week ago at the Outpatient Department of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu. Besides some operational challenges since the staff was being introduced to a new system, health officials say the trial was a success.
The Electronic Patient Information System or ePIS will not only enhance record keeping but also reduce the use of prescription papers and enhance service delivery.
“Once we have the electronic patient information system you will be given the name of the doctor and at what time you will be seen, who will be there will all be in the system. So, you need not carry an exercise book, worry about where or who would see me, and not being able to read handwriting won’t be a problem,” said the Health Minister, Dechen Wangmo. “Every test you have done in your life will be there in the system. So, it will also improve medical record keeping.”
According to the Health Ministry, the ePIS is a huge system with more than 20 complex modules or units. Currently, the desk and pharmacy modules are completed while the laboratory and radiology modules are also being finalized.
“I think right now the biggest challenge we see is health worker’s receptiveness. Initially, it might cause some delay because you have to register everything on the computer and not just write it on paper like before and everything should go into the system,” said the Health Minister. “Therefore, we anticipate that there will be some delay in the patient queue. Second, the doctors’ willingness to do this and as of now the buying is quite good because the system is quite easy to use.”
The project is a part of the Digital Drukyul Flagship Programme. It is expected to be complete by May next year.
Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen
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