As the Ministry of Health strives to deliver a more efficient and effective health care service to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique it is important that every aspect of the delivery of Health Care be improved. Health Information Systems are a vital part of any Health Care system since it ensures that policy decisions are based on accurate and timely information. An Electronic Health Information System is seen as the best means by which the current Health Information System in Grenada can be improved.
The starting point in the process of developing an Electronic Health Information System is the implementation of Electronic Health Records. The Electronic Health Record system will allow patients to receive more personalized care thus improving individual health outcomes. Physicians will have improved access to standardize and accurate longitudinal health records.
The EMR will also provide the Health Service records, and disease records required for public health by aggregating the individual health records of patients throughout Grenada.
Goals, Objectives and Expected Outcomes of the Information System
To ensure that policies and decisions are based on evidence and accurate timely information for improved National Health Care.
- To facilitate the proper functioning of the health information unit by providing all required information in a timely and accurate manner. (System should be able to generate detailed reports.)
- To Improve the Co-ordination of information activities within the M.O.H.
- To improve the communication among units within the M.O.H.
- To make users of the information system more aware of the importance of data in providing accurate information.
- To improve the quality of information by avoiding duplication, and incomplete data.
- To improve the storage, processing and retrieval of medical records throughout the health system.
- To ensure that the information system is accessible with minimum down time.
- To ensure that the information system is flexible, scalable and can grow with the organization
- To reduce all unnecessary burdens on district staff as it relates to multiple registers and other burdensome tasks.
- To ensure the safety and Security of all data
- To ensure proper documentation of the entire system.
- Ensure that the system is easy to use and understood by all users.
- Improved referral System
There are three public hospitals serving the tri-island state, General Hospital, Princess Alice and Princess royal. The General Hospital is the main Hospital in Grenada; it is located in the Capital city and provides the most specialized care to patients in Grenada. The Princess Alice and Princess Royal are both subsidiary hospitals, they offer less medicals services and are not as capable as the General Hospital.
The current Hospital Information System is mostly manual with the only exception being a Microsoft Access database and an Excel spreadsheet both used by the Medical Records department of the General Hospital, the rest of the information system is made up of registers, notebooks, files, charts, and forms which are all common to each of the three Hospitals previously mentioned.
Most of the record keeping under the current information system is done by the nurses at the hospitals; doctors also play an important role in this process. Clerks and receptionist provide support in recording, filing and the General management of data in some instances.
At the core of the Hospital information systems are the medical records departments, data pertaining to the services accessed by patients, the care given, the medical records of patients are all collected and processed by this department.
- The current Health Information System is paper based and involves an immense amount of clerical work
- Due to the paper based nature of the System there is no backup of patient records
- Paper files tend to get lost from time to time
- Paper files disintegrate with age and are more susceptible to damage by forces of nature
- The length of time it takes to locate patients’ records compromises the quality of the health care offered
- Patient files are duplicated at each of the health care facilities on the island, thus increasing the probability of errors as well as contributing to waste.
- Consolidate the hard copy files from all Health care facilities
- Migrate the hard copy files to digital
- Store in a repository and make it accessible to all authorized personnel