Sterling Bank Plc has partnered with the Ekiti State Government and Helium Health on the installation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in hospitals in Ekiti State to provide robust digital health care service delivery to the people of Ekiti.
The bank disclosed this in a statement recently following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Data Bank Building, Ministry for Health in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State Capital.
Sterling Bank said the health sector is one of the five sectors where it is focusing investments under its HEART’s of Sterling programme in a bid to make an impact in the Nigerian economy. The other sectors are Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation.
Speaking on the partnership, Ibironke Akinmade, group head for health in Sterling Bank, noted that health care will greatly improve in Ekiti by the time the EMR is fully in place. This will bring an end to the practice of carrying files from office to office in hospitals and clinics across the state. She added that mismanagement of data would also become a thing of the past.
Describing the EMR initiative as a laudable project, Akinmade expressed the bank’s appreciation to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and his team for allowing the bank to play a significant part in the effort to improve on health care delivery in the state.
She said the partnership aims to digitise most of the hospitals in Ekiti State in a bid to improve the health care and well being of everyone in the state. The initiative will also make medical access easier for the people in the state, she said.
“By just going to any hospital and providing their phone numbers, citizens can have access to their medical records and enjoy better data engagement. This will reduce leakages and provide access visibility while people will enjoy better medical attention. Sterling Bank had set aside money for this project six months ago. We had already done it in other states and we plan to go to as many states as possible.
“Health is one of the five pillars of Sterling Bank. It is a sector that is very dear to us as a bank because we are very passionate about the well being of every Nigerian. Rather than just do our traditional business, we want to enrich lives,” she said.
Read also: Sterling Bank reports N5.7bn half year profit
Abiola Osunniyi, head of regional growth (Public Sector) with Helium Health, said the agreement will enable critical health infrastructure for digitisation of four hospitals in Ekiti that will be used as pilots before expanding to other hospitals.
“The essence is to digitise the patients’ data so that our doctors can access them easily for improved and quick healthcare delivery. One of the core mandates of the state government is the delivery of quality health care to the citizens. So, as a private organisation, we want to support the state government through the provision of technology in hospitals.
“We have done this partnership with Akwa Ibom and Lagos, primarily around bridging the existing gap that exists in patients’ data because there is usually a gap. The old days when patients’ data are kept primarily on papers are over.
“In most cases, patients’ records got lost, but with the provision of this digital infrastructure, their data can be protected. In cases of lost patient data, doctors may ask patients to repeat treatments (operations, tests etc. ) that might be deleterious to the patients. We plan to introduce an electronic medical record (EMR) system so that at the mention of a patient’s name, the records will be displayed. Accurate health care data and storage can affect healthcare administration positively.
Oyebanji Filani, Ekiti State commissioner for health, said the project will remove redundancy in hospitals and inject modernity into the healthcare system in the state.
He said technology is a critical weapon that can strengthen the health sector through accurate collection, processing and storage of health care records that will improve quality of healthcare services by providers.
“Digitisation process in health system all over the world helps to reduce wastages and redundancy as well as inject transparency and accountability into medical facilities. I know there will be a tremendous improvement in the keeping of health care records and significantly improved turnaround time in the delivery of healthcare services in our facilities with this technological intervention,” Honourable Commissioner Filani said.