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IT helps improve healthcare quality at hospitals

Update: December, 19/2012 - 10:47

HCM CITY (VNS)— Advanced information technology systems have helped hospitals in Viet Nam improve their healthcare services, according to the head of the Medical Services Administration.

Dr Luong Ngoc Khue spoke at a two-day conference held in HCM City last week on healthcare services. It was organised by the department in collaboration with the European Union.

A survey of 34 hospitals in 48 provinces and cities nationwide showed that only 27 of them had applied technology applications to improve their healthcare services, according to Khue.

Dr Tang Chi Thuong, the head of the Peadiatric Hospital No.1, said his staff had used patient-record management software and e-prescription software.

E-prescriptions allow doctors to write and send complete and accurate prescriptions that help reduce potential errors, including illegible handwriting, formula errors, dosage questions and potential allergy and drug interaction risks, according to Thuong.

With the use of IT, hospital management can also monitor prescription usage and requests by doctors. A prescription-prompt system has also been installed.

Technology applications have helped the hospital shorten the waiting time for check-ups and tests and save on costs. Many patients have responded positively to the use of IT.

Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, who brought her 10-month daughter to the hospital for treatment, said that testing procedures were done quickly and test results were returned promptly.

She added that prescriptions for her daughter were written legibly and easy to read, and that pharmacists at hospitals did not make mistakes when filling out prescriptions.

Thuong said the hospital had invested a great deal of capital in setting up technology infrastructure, including computers, servers and cable networks throughout its system. They have also hired IT staff.

Hospitals without much capital should install IT step-by-step and work with IT companies to help them invest in technology infrastructure and hire IT staff from these companies.

He said it took about two years for hospitals to use the systems in an effective manner.

The Health Ministry said it would establish an IT department within the ministry in Ha Noi and set up offices at several hospitals in the country to improve management and quality.

The ministry said it had asked the Government to allocate funds for a project that would help set up electronic record-keeping at hospitals nationwide next year. — VNS

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