The Ministry of Health has launched a national E-Health project and bio-Surveillance system to link public hospitals and clinics to a common database.

The e-health system is expected to end the movement of folders across departments in various health institutions.

The system will also allow doctors and administrators access to information for effective health delivery.

According to the ministry, the e-health system also comes with an enhanced physical infrastructure and facilities to enable the Centre for Health Information Management and the Disease Surveillance Unit of the Health Service, come together to perform comprehensive surveillance functions for the country.

The system is currently operational in 26 health institutions across the country.

Speaking at the launch of the system on Tuesday at the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the system has the ability to detect fake NHIS cards and fraudulent claims.

The Minister said the system integrates with the current National Health Insurance System (NHIS), and enables it to function in real-time validation and submission of patient billing for reimbursement.

“The vision of e-health is well captured in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) manifesto, and so it is just a matter of time for the full potential of that promise to be delivered. In our manifesto, we assured Ghanaians that we would utilize the best in technology and health insurance management protocols to tackle waste, corruption and insurance claims fraud under the NHIS. This, we said will include completely phasing out the manual processing of claims which currently stands at about 90 per cent, tightly linking services and drugs to hospital attendance, and treatment to diagnosis.”

Each service point of the e-health is linked to the revenue and claims system. This will ensure that claims are processed automatically on a patient-to-patient basis. Claims can also be batched atomically and submitted at specific periods at the facility.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu noted that the launch of the e-health project is in fulfillment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise to improve the database system of the health sector.

“The prospect of sharing patient information electronically with other healthcare providers within a safe environment is critical to measures aimed at improving patient safety and quality of care. Many of our doctors now hold accurate and comprehensive information about their patients that has been progressively built up over time. But currently, these are held in folders that are stored in cardboard boxes and sometimes on corridors in our health facilities,” he said.

The electronic health system has a key design feature which provides an easy-to-use interface for doctors and health workers, to undertake their time-honoured clinicals and other patient management chores like history taking, performing medical examinations, assessing information, and requesting investigations if needed, making diagnoses and deciding on treatment.

By: Naa Kwaamah Siaw-Marfo/citifmonline.com/Ghana