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Healthcare IT

The Philippines to deliver rural e-health services

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) is seeking to create an electronic database of patient’s medical records to share with rural health units and some government hospitals in central part of the country.


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Together with the telecom firm, Smart communications, DOH will implement the programme called Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (Shine) to boosts the efficiency of healthcare delivery by cutting down the time spent in repetitive documentation of patient data in Iloilo city.

The programme will also aid in recording consultations, filling up and sending of referral acknowledgement and feedback forms, searching for health care specialists or facilities.

It will likewise help setting of appointments as well as the sending of short messaging system notification and reminders to patients.

Senator Edgardo Angara, chair of Senate Committee on Science and Technology expressed his support for a public-private partnership that uses ICT to improve healthcare systems in some parts of the country that would otherwise be virtually inaccessible.

“Public-private collaborations like this can help make universal healthcare in the Philippines a reality. We have high hopes that programs such as this succeed,” said Angara.

Under the programme, health workers in the field will be able to access patient data through mobile phones equipped with the Shine system.

Smart will provide Shine -enabled computers and mobile phones to 13 rural health units, 10 health centers, five district hospital and two tertiary hospitals.

“Such a program, if successful, must be replicated across the country. Government has to be bolder and engage stakeholders — public and private — to boost telehealth in the country,” said Angara.

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