UHWI em­brac­ing telemedicine

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Ro­mario Scott Gleaner Writer ro­mario.scott@glean­erjm.com

THE UNIVER­SITY Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies (UHWI) is em­brac­ing the use of tech­nol­ogy to en­hance pa­tient care de­liv­ery which, along with sev­eral other in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ments, is to pro­pel the hos­pi­tal into a first-class fa­cil­ity.

Of­fi­cials of the St Andrew-based hos­pi­tal, speak­ing dur­ing a Gleaner Ed­i­tors’ Fo­rum at the news­pa­per’s North Street of­fices in Kingston last week, said im­proved tech­nol­ogy is com­ing for the hos­pi­tal to en­sure that it can ef­fi­ciently meet the needs to the pub­lic.

“The way we look at telemedicine and tele­help or telep­res­ence is that they can fa­cil­i­tate the reach of our spe­cial­ists. For ex­am­ple, in a clinic in St Elizabeth, what we can do is com­mu­ni­cate with the pa­tients and doc­tors who are out there,” said Dr Carl Bruce, chief of med­i­cal staff at the UHWI.

“There are pa­tients who might need a med­i­ca­tion [re­motely], or there could be a doc­tor out there who just wants to clar­ify some­thing ... ,” Bruce added.

He ar­gued that there is much sav­ing to be re­alised from the im­ple­men­ta­tion of such a sys­tem be­cause it would pre­vent pa­tients some dis­tance away from the UHWI from ac­tu­ally trav­el­ling to get a pre­scrip­tion or to present a find­ing from a med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion such as a dig­i­tal X-ray.

RE­GIONAL LINKS

At the same time, Dr Joseph Plum­mer, a se­nior sur­geon at the hos­pi­tal, of­fer­ing as ev­i­dence that the hos­pi­tal is em­brac­ing the new par­a­digm of mod­ern medicine, said that the hos­pi­tal has a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary tu­mour board and a hep­a­to­bil­iary com­mit­tee, which meet twice per week to as­sess im­ages of tu­mours which are de­liv­ered via an In­ter­net tech­nol­ogy called Drop­box. “Once the im­ages are sent, we as a group, sit down and then make a rec­om­men­da­tion – not just to doc­tors at the Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, but doc­tors in the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands and the Turks and Caicos Is­lands,” Plum­mer ex­plained.

Re­cently, the UHWI im­ple­mented the Med­i­cal Prac­tice Man­age­ment Sys­tem, (PAS-MD), pow­ered by Ad­vanced In­te­grated Sys­tems (AIS).

Fea­tures of PAS-MD in­clude pa­tient sched­ul­ing, pa­tient in­for­ma­tion, billing, in­sur­ance claims pro­cess­ing, elec­tronic lab req­ui­si­tion, PAS Health apps for both doc­tors and pa­tients, and a pay­ment gate­way.

MOSS-SOLOMON JAMES

BRUCE

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