By Lorraine Anyango
Jaramoi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) is tapping the enormous potential of modern information and communications technologies to enhancing timely and quality service.
This technological transformation is undeniable, its massive impact also ensures staff accountability considering the developing transition of JOOTRH to a level 6A hospital.
“Currently we are in talks with Telecom Kenya to link the hospital to other centers worldwide for telemedicine activation.” Dr George Rae CEO JOOTRH says, adding that the platform will be a channel for educational and skills development as well as consultation and continuous training and is likely to be an added resource stream since students from across the globe will log on at a fee.
Digitization is also helping enhance security matters in the facility .The hospital has more than 120 cameras installed at different sections and a control room where the cameras are monitored under 24 hour’s surveillance. The newly set up covid-19 isolation hospital also has others camera’s installed.
JOOTRH’s is also upgrading the Funsoft software which will enable the hospital to fully have electronic medical records management and it enable the use of hand held devices including android phones and tablets among others.
The upgraded Funsoft health management information system has modules for electronic medical records, registration and admission, clinical and clerking by doctors, and taking vital by nurses.
Other modules are billing and receipting, stock inventory, stock control requisition, receiving items /drugs etc, Pharmacy, laboratory and X rays imaging, repots, accounting and stock and diagnosis.
The software is web based and can be used anywhere where there is internet connection, it eradicates the use of Cd’s to store X- rays information , with this software the doctors are able to visualize the X-ray images even using their phones.
The software also provides opportunities for further consultations as its internet enabled.
JOOTRH had departments that were not using the electronic system before, now they are being brought on board. They include the consultant clinics, accidents and emergency (casualty), the dental unit, the eye clinic and nurse triaging and OPD.
The Software enables full capture clients’ data electronically, including the X-ray images which will be relayed to doctor’s hand devices.
Patients will no longer walk with DVD’s containing X-rays which have been limited access to visualize since some of the wards did not have computers.
JOOTRH acquired a heavy duty scanner, currently scanning of files through its IT department is ongoing for patients whose records had been manually stored, to enable electronic retrieval of the same ones a patient needs services again.
The scanned files will then be assimilated to be used in the funsoft application, ensuring that patient’s illness history is well saved.
However for the new client’s the health workers are capturing their details electronically.
With this software in place, loss of client’s information will be eradicated and time shortened during information retrieval.
The management of the hospital is also considering installation of the smart Nurse application for remotely monitoring patients in the wards.
Via the app nurses can get to hear patients as well as watch their videos and respond to those in distress.
For this application to function wards are fitted with cameras and a calling systems that has alarms that enables the patients call the nursing stations when need arises .This innovation is helping prevent abusive behavior and control risks.
“At times patients lay allegations neglect by the nurses, with this App you can see clearly and hear what happened per time in the wards to ascertain whether the allegations are false or true.” Ms Carolyn Kogi, head of nurses at JOOTRH says.
The pilot for the smart application will be at the male surgical ward and another high population ward to access its effectiveness.
The hospital through the support by ICAP set up an innovative telementoring program designed to create virtual communities of learners by bringing together healthcare providers and subject matter experts using videoconference technology.
Participants are engaged in the bi-directional virtual -knowledge network by sharing clinical challenges and learning from experts and peers. The Project is dubbed ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes).
The ministry of ICT also undertook networking in the hospital, the facility now awaits installation of computers and other devices.
The hospital is also exploring customer queuing system to be used O.P.D. pharmacy and laboratory. “The next step in this digitization is to acquire a data backup system to enable us not lose data.” Johannes Simiyu ICT in charge JOOTRH.