IT bof­fin makes an im­pact on health

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Agiza Hlong­wane

Award-win­ning in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist Xolani Phakathi has been qui­etly de­sign­ing a range of in­no­va­tive com­puter pro­grammes that are help­ing the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Depart­ment of Health to save money, while sig­nif­i­cantly en­hanc­ing its abil­ity to de­liver ser­vices smoothly and ef­fi­ciently to the peo­ple.

This in­cludes a revo­lu­tion­ary web-based ap­pli­ca­tion that pre­vents pa­tients from ob­tain­ing mul­ti­ple de­vices such as wheel­chairs, walk­ing and hear­ing aids.

He also de­vel­oped a com­puter pro­gramme that en­ables the depart­ment to con­sol­i­date and mon­i­tor pro­cure­ment plans for health fa­cil­i­ties – mak­ing it un­nec­es­sary for em­ploy­ees to drive to head of­fice from all over the prov­ince to sub­mit dense doc­u­ments and data, which are im­pos­si­ble to email.

These com­puter pro­grammes are now be­ing show­cased na­tion­ally by the Cen­tre for Pub­lic Ser­vice In­no­va­tion (CPSI), with the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing repli­cated in other gov­ern­ment de­part­ments around the coun­try.

The CPSI is a gov­ern­ment com­po­nent within the Min­istry of Pub­lic Ser­vice and Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Born in Inanda, Xolani (34) was re­cently nom­i­nated by the Na­tional Youth De­vel­op­ment Agency as one of the coun­try’s top young achiev­ers; and was recog­nised by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa dur­ing this year’s Na­tional Youth Day Com­mem­o­ra­tion event.

He holds an IT Prac­ti­tioner Diploma (Sys­tems Sup­port); an Ad­vanced Diploma for IT Pro­fes­sion­als (ICT Sys­tems Sup­port); a BTech de­gree (pre­vi­ously known as a Higher Na­tional Diploma) in Com­puter Science; and a Post­grad­u­ate Diploma in Strate­gic Busi­ness In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

Although he has been in­volved in the plan­ning, con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a num­ber of IT-re­lated in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions for the depart­ment, he sin­gles out the As­sis­tive De­vices Elec­tronic Man­age­ment Sys­tem (ADEMS) as one of those that he is proud­est of.

“Ba­si­cally, the sys­tem reg­u­lates the is­su­ing of as­sis­tive de­vices. It man­ages in­for­ma­tion on who has these de­vices, when they were is­sued, and who is still wait­ing to re­ceive them. Our man­date as a depart­ment is to pro­vide ac­ces­si­ble ser­vices to our cit­i­zens by bring­ing about ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness. I be­lieve that this is what the ADEMS sys­tem does, as well as the many oth­ers that I have been in­volved in,” he said.

Phakathi be­lieves that con­tin­u­ous self-improvement is key to stay­ing rel­e­vant in the ever-chang­ing field of IT.

Xolani Phakathi is mak­ing waves in the IT sec­tor within the pub­lic sec­tor.

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