Electronic patient files on track for Gauteng hospitals

Six Gauteng public hospitals have already had their patient files scanned and the remaining 32 hospitals are due to be scanned by 2018/19.

This is according to Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Ramokgopa says that phase two of the project is now underway over a 12 week period, which will be followed by a phase three and a phase four.

The digitization of records for the following ten hospitals will be as follows:

  1. Phase two – Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg, Chris Hani Baragwanath, Steve Biko and Sebokeng
  2. Phase three – South Rand, Helen Joseph, and Edenvale
  3. Phase four – Tambo Memorial, Leratong, and Kalafong

The total cost for the digitization is projected to cost about R79 million.

I am pleased that the scanning process for electronic files appears to be on track as paper files often go missing and are a major cause of long patient queues.

The department has a history of broken promises in this matter, including the health “smart card” announced with great fanfare by former Premier Mbhazima Shilowa in February 2007 that failed because of corrupt contracts.

Gauteng hospitals need an integrated health information system that includes electronic patient files as well as accurate costing and efficiency measures.

This would improve the patient experience in hospitals and assist in spending the health budget optimally.

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