• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG begins digitisation of Nigeria’s healthcare system

Nigeria’s taxman turns attention to digital space

The government is set to create a national unified Electronic Medical Record (EMR) platform that will serve as a central hub to enhance health system efficiency and ensure robust monitoring of public health and disease outbreaks, and mortality rates.

The government on Friday inaugurated a 20-person implementation committee for Nigeria’s digital in-health initiative to be chaired by Tunji Alausa, minister of state for health and social welfare.

In his inaugural address at the inauguration of the Committee, Alausa decried the lack of uniform data collection and management that has presented the Nigerian healthcare system with numerous challenges that have led to significant quality gaps in the healthcare system.

“It has limited the development of the health industry, weakened our decision-making and has resulted in inefficient use of resources. This has made it difficult to have a comprehensive view of the healthcare environment” he said.

“Our healthcare system further suffers from data fragmentation as only a small number of private institutions and federal institutions use Electronic Medical Record (EMR)/ Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms to keep track of patient data, promote research, provide treatment, and manage operations and resources. While the majority still rely on rudimentary paper-based methods”, the ministers added.

Speaking on the importance of a national EMR system, Alausa stressed it would enable primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare personnel to manage clinical and administrative data seamlessly across centres for improved quality and reduce expenditure on health through a reduction of tests due to avoided duplication.

The Committee will among other tasks midwife data policy, regulation, and repository management and serve as an ombudsman to establish a national digital health environment that will support the scale-up of our digital health interventions.

Alausa said the EMR platform pilot will initially begin at the federal tertiary hospitals and be implemented in one state per geo-political zone, to gauge its efficiency and accuracy.

“Once reviewed, we will encourage both public and private sub-national institutions to key in, allowing for a national robust and unified EMR platform”, the minister said.