New computer programme for health data management

National, Normal


A REVOLUTIONARY step in computer programming undertaken by a private company will now make the management of medical issues such as budgeting and resource allocation easy.
This has also been given a financial support of K250,000 by the Health Department as a step in the right direction to improving the health systems with proper management and accountability of resources that are allocated to each hospital as received from the Government.
Owner of Simmet-nga Ltd, Dr Simon Mete, said he developed this software when he saw that patient records were the only way for hospital managers to pinpoint areas that needed funds and human resources to provide better services.
The software will assist hospital managers set realistic approaches to budgeting to ensure positive outcomes and that resources are used according to the data received.
Dr Mete said because the software contains patients’ personal information, the data will be protected by a password and will only be accessible by the senior executive management.
He said this will help keep records together and make them available to doctors to update their patients’ medical histories.
The data that will be uploaded into the database will come from all the daily admissions into each hospital.
The patients will be assigned medical numbers for identification when they go to hospital to make it easier for doctors to know about a patient’s medical history and to treat them accordingly.
Dr Mete said the first hospital to trial this software was the Mt Hagen General Hospital in 2000.
The programme is currently being trialed at the Kundiawa, Wabag, Mendi, Goroka, Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Kerema, Vanimo and Daru hospitals.
Health Secretary Dr Clement Malau said the Health Department was  aware of this software programme and has had several talks with Dr Mete on the usage of the software in all the country’s hospitals.
He said he was very optimistic of the fact that this was a homegrown product and hoped that it would work out in the future to prove that Papua New Guineans are capable of creating and developing such initiatives.
Dr Malau said he was happy that as part of its  mission and vision to support local intellectuals, the department has agreed to support Dr Mete’s initiative. 
He said Dr Mete had been using his own resources to try out the software and was hopeful the data would be linked to all the other hospitals and the national health information systems.
The software is currently suited to the country’s stage of development, with the aim to develop to cater for any future development stages.