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City’s plan for ’smart’ health system advancing

Update: June, 25/2016 - 09:00
Phí Anh Tuấn, vice chairman of the HCM City Computer Association, says health facilities should lease IT infrastructure and software rather than buying it at the 2016 Việt Nam ICT Outlook Conference in HCM City yesterday. Photo courtesy of HCM City Computer Association.
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY— A project to create an intelligent health system for HCM City will be submitted to the People’s Committee next month, Lê Thái Hỷ, head of the city Department of Information and Communication has said.

Speaking at the 2016 Việt Nam ICT Outlook conference held by the HCM City Computer Association yesterday, he said details of the project would be published in the media to gather opinions from IT companies, health facilities and the public.

He sought policy assistance from the Government to carry out the project, the first of its kind in the country.

Dr Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said his department is working with DoIC to establish a common data centre for the health sector by next year.

A year later comprehensive IT infrastructure would be set up for the healthcare sector meeting the needs of all health facilities in the city, he said.

In recent years the department has been urging health facilities as well as managers of the healthcare sector to use IT to provide better services to patients, he said.

“But the IT application remains limited. IT infrastructure at health facilities only meets basic needs. Information safety still does not get sufficient attention.”

Software and databases used at health facilities are not identical, leading to difficulties in exchanging information with each other, according to the official.

A recently completed study of IT use at 92 hospitals, 24 preventive health centres and 319 other health centres in the city found a shortage of servers and computers at district-level facilities, he said.

Ten hospitals were yet to use hospital management software, and 92 per cent of health centres did not use software for management of diagnosis and treatment, he said.

Insufficient funds and human resources were major barriers to using IT, he said.

Of 92 hospitals surveyed, only 73 have specialist IT staff, he added.

Phí Anh Tuấn, vice chairman of the HCM City Computer Association, suggested that the Department of Health should encourage health facilities to take advantage of cloud computing to overcome the resource shortage.

The facilities should change their mindset and lease infrastructure, software and services rather than buy them, he said.

The Government should have clearer regulations to enable this, he added.

Lê Mạnh Hà, general secretary of the National Committee on IT Application, said every hospital should take the initiative to use IT to improve their efficiency.

The 2016 Việt Nam ICT Outlook Conference also featured solutions developed by companies like Lạc Việt Computing Corp, Microsoft, Panasonic and others.—VNS


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