Digital Health:  Electronic medical records on the horizon as ministry evaluates bids

The Ministry of Health is currently in the process of evaluating 16 bids submitted by companies interested in designing, supplying, and installing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.

This will allow technology to be implemented into the local health system and is being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In September 2023, the Ministry of Health published requests for proposals from companies to develop an EHR.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

EHRs contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunisation dates, and test results.

They allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care, improve patient safety and experience, and facilitate better patient referrals or transfers.

The system tools will also centralise and standardise clinical data management within clinics, improve the efficiency and accuracy of documentation, and reduce delays in retrieving patient records.

“We have evaluators that are going through those bids and hopefully they’ll narrow it down and then we’ll get one company that we’ll be working with,” said Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony during a recent press briefing.

Dr Anthony also disclosed that the ministry has been working on digital health and is hoping to set up a new department this month.

“Hopefully, this will be a ninth programme that we’ll have in the ministry and with digital health we’ve been doing quite a number of things,” he disclosed further.

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is piloting an EMR system in its medical clinic, and then it will be expanded to other departments of the facility.

Telemedicine is another innovative program that uses technology to deliver efficient and quality health services to those living in far-flung villages, including the hinterland and riverine communities.