Healthcare info flow improves in 2017: officials

Information Technology applications in health exams and treatment have improved information flow and storage in the healthcare sector, a year-end review found on December 29.

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IT has been applied in health examinations and treatment in all hospitals and clinics nationwide, in accordance with National Assembly Resolution No.68.— Photo Saint Paul Hospital

The review conference held in Hanoi also identified improvements that need to be made in the coming year to overcome challenges and difficulties faced this year.

Pham Le Tuan, Deputy Minister of Health, noted that 2017 was the 4th year in a row that IT has been applied in health examinations and treatment in all hospitals and clinics nationwide, in accordance with National Assembly Resolution No.68.

Tuan said notable achievements have been recorded over the past four years, particularly in 2017, thanks to the application of the Mediware Hospital Information System (HIS) for maintaining electronic medical records, contributing to laying a foundation for national health information infrastructure.  

However, Tuan said, the health sector faced a lot of difficulties and challenges in 2017 due to both objective and subjective reasons. He asked participants to share their lists of problems and suggest ways to address them so that the health sector performs better in 2018.

Speaking in the conference, Dang Hong Nam, deputy director of the Health Insurance Department under the Ministry of Health, said that by late December data sharing nationwide had reached 98.3 per cent, meaning that almost all hospitals and healthcare centres across Vietnam have joined the data sharing network.

However, the information flow on health examinations and treatment has not been uniform. On average, only 79 per cent of the hospitals and healthcare centres sent their data to the Health Ministry’s database, with the figures reaching 83.82 per cent of central hospitals, 81 per cent of provincial hospitals, 74.4 per cent of district-level healthcare centres and 80.38 per cent of commune-level healthcare centres. Only 42-54 per cent of private hospitals and healthcare centres, or those based within agencies, sent their data to the ministry’s database.

Under the data sharing programme, the ministry’s database is to be shared with Viet Nam Social Security so that it can better manage information about health insurance card holders, their health exams and treatment. 

These figures indicate that information flow is still facing some challenges that need to be addressed in 2018, particularly the need to have more medical staff get trained in IT or the need to equip proper IT infrastructure including machines, internet connection, especially at the grassroots level. In cases, patients’ testing results could not be loaded in the databases because testing equipment is not compatible.

Two kids, still

Also on Friday, the Ministry of Communication and Information organised a conference on communication of public healthcare and population issues.

Nguyen Minh Hong, Deputy Minister of Communication and Information, said a key mission of his ministry was to disseminate the Party’s and Government’s policy on healthcare, and encouraging the whole society to join hands in protecting and improving people’s health.

Hong said the mass media should carry more timely stories about healthcare activities and population. He said media workers should hold high their work ethic and improve their knowledge of the field so that their stories will help the general public learn more about key health issues and know how to respond to emergencies.

Nguyen Thanh Lam, Director of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, said reporters in charge of population issues should have wide knowledge about the topic they focus on as well as related fields.

Nguyen Van Tan, deputy director of the General Department of Population and Family Planning, said that “Vietnam still continues with its policy of encouraging each couple to have two children.

He asked the media workers nationwide to write more on gender equality and the need to minimise the sex imbalance at birth. 

Source: VietNamNet

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