Kenya's top referral hospital aims to make health records accessible online
Posted Thursday, July 19 2012 at 16:36
Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), has digitised 37.5 per cent of the four million documents it aims to be accessed online in the next four months as it seeks to increase efficiency, cut on operational costs and stamp out corruption.
The largest referral hospital in Kenya, based in the capital Nairobi, began the digitisation process six weeks ago after contracting two firms—Tanzania’s Coseke and Kenya’s Techno Brain —at Sh35 million and is seeking funds to upgrade the remaining documents.
The exercise is expected to be complete in the next four months with Techno Brain tasked with converting the hard copy documents into electronic format while Coseke is supplying the web based information management system.
The project is a wider scheme by the KNH to have more than 40 million documents it has produced in the last ten years digitized and made available online.
This will curb corruption common with use of paperwork, reduce manual work and cut the cost of stationery—which currently stands at about Sh150 million annually or 12 per cent of its administrative cost.
Dr Henry Kioko, acting deputy director clinical services said the institution has started digitizing documents at the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic but will scale this to cover all the documents at the institutions.
“If you see the kind of paper work we generate in a day, you will appreciate that this project will go a long way to increase our efficiency and cut costs,” said Dr Kioko.
“It is a baseline project and very expensive but within 3-5 years we will be able to run down a patient’s life for the past 10 year by a click of a button.”
He added that the digitisations of the four million documents will be complete within the next four months and should change how doctors transact.
The referral hospital does 3,000 manual transactions daily and uses stationery worth Sh150 million.
Doctors will now be able to access patients records online at their workstations by click of the mouse as opposed to the previous channel where they had to request the registry official search for them manually which was time consuming.
KNH annual costs stand at Sh6.8 billion against revenues of Sh5.3 billion, leaving it with a funding gap of Sh1.5 billion that is plugged by donors, according to Mr Lesiyampe.
The digitisation is being funded by Rockefeller Foundation, through Kenya ICT board, a state-owned firm charged with marketing Kenya as business process outsourcing hotspot. The board is also shepherding implementation of e-government related services like connecting State offices to the internet.
KNH intends to increase its efficiency by reducing the time patients take to register at the hospital by automating the registry process and reduce corruption by automating the billing process.