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Our effort to contribute to open source software in a meaningful ways has been noticed by the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology (MoICT-NG) and has awarded a grant to enable further development.
Helecare2x is a heavily customized offshoot of care2x, which is a comprehensive electronic patient records management system that ensures smooth integration with hospital core duties.
At its core, helecare2x ensures that clinical activities remain central such that patient hospital experience is not compromised. As a hospital management system, suitable for clinics, pharmacies and laboratories, helecare2x extends to all hospital aspects including billing, bed management, appointments to mention but a few.
The grant under National Initiative for Innovation Support (NIISP2) will see us bring the system to many users, reach out to many developers as well as include smart capabilities.
At the invitation of the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) technical team, Thursday 5th September 2019, the developers presented the functionalities provided by helecare2x. The functionality presented include the patient registration where varies fields are captured. The ability to capture different patient identities fascinated the MoH team.
Then rich set of measurements that capture Middle upper Arm Circumference (MUAC), Body Mass Index (BMI), Weight, Height, Temperature was very interesting to the MoH officials.
They noted the ability to keep all sorts of data accessible to the clinicians in what the helecare team calls the clinicians workspace.
The tight integration between billing, prescriptions, drugs and pharmacy is an exceptional piece of modern software engineering and aesthetics.
A Report that complies with MoH health management information system (HMIS) is an issue very dear to the Ministry of Health. Indeed, Helecare2x scored highly with reports for Outpatients, In Patients, Ante Natal to mention but a few being generated on the fly.
The helecare2x team was represented by Dr Benjamin Kanagwa, who is the chief technical advisor, Mr Jenard Ntacyo, who is the lead health domain technical expert and Mr Geoffery Ojara a helecare2x user advocate currently using Helecare2x with the Benedicts Medical Center.
The ministry of Health Officials emphasized the need to extend helecare2x with enterprise integration technology which the helecare2x team is already testing in beta phase.
TRACKING DRUG EXPIRY DATES IN HOSPITAL PHARMACIES WITH “HELECARE2X” HEALTH MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM.
Gone are the days when hospitals used to record drugs entered in the store in records book, recording of drugs was so formal/ local in that they would design the records book with type of drug/drug name, date of entry, date of manufacture and expiry dates, now what was over whelming was that the stores manager/officer had the responsibility to keep checking in the records book about when drugs would expire.
This seems to be a cheap task if you just read this write up but think about the type of drugs in store assuming they are 1000 type of drugs in store, imagine checking expiry dates for 1000 type of drugs almost every day not forgetting making errors by skipping certain drugs ,failure to understand /note some expiry dates due to poor hand writing of drug entrant and then all the sudden expired drugs issued to patients for medication .
What I can a sure the hospital Admin is that the out come of issuing expired drugs is very inevitable including closure of the health facility .
Why take such risks that can be eliminated once and for all. Thanks to Helecare2x, a user friendly Hospital Management System that included this pharmacy module for tracking drug expiry dates
Normally expiry dates are entered at the time of drug entry in the system in correspondence with manufacture date by the stores officer or any other officer with right system permission to access the pharmacy module who then sets when to be notified either one week to expiry date, Helecare2x pops up a red blinking message every time a responsible officer logs in the system notifying about a certain expiry that is soon if at all there is a drug type that is soon expiring depending on the expiry dates that were set .
Apart from that, Helecare2x keeps track of the of the amount of stock in the store for as long as stock in and stock out is updated in the system, Helecare2x keeps the responsible person updated on the current stock in the store, as soon as a certain type of drug is out of stock,Helecare2x notifies the officer if they try to issue out drug (“drug out of stock”) message shows up so as to perform a stock in fast before issuing out drugs.
Now why face pharmacy management hustles when Helecare2x is 100% open source and supported by a group enthusiastic developers. It is currently used in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon and many other west African countries. Big thanks to this Health Management Information System “Helecare2x” development Team.
Helecare2x is a master at management of clinics, large hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories.
PATIENTS’ REACTIONS ABOUT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (HMIS) IN UGANDA.
“Last year I had all my Antenantal Care(ANC) services at a Nyakibale hospital found in Rukungiri district since it was a referral hospital for our district.
The first time I visited this hospital, the records officer registered my details in a computer, I don’t know how this was done but all I know is that my details were captured including my names, next of keen, HIV status,MUAC and other minor information .
Now what excited m was that I wasn’t bothered by with any paper based material, I was told to proceed and pay for my consultation fee I just told a cashier my name and I was cleared to proceed to the clinician for checkup and prescription, now after prescription , I proceeded to pay for my medication without any prescription form, what was required of me was to tell my name and my prescription drugs were populated for the cashier to bill , I paid for my medicine and still no receipt was issued to me to present to the pharmacist.
I proceeded to the to the pharmacist to pick my drugs, I was surprised when the pharmacist just issued medicine to me without asking me whether I had paid or not .
Now the real excitement happened when I went back for my next visit , when my name was entered in the computer and my details were populated without telling her any thing, I was just told “your encounter has been updated please proceed to the next step”
I proceeded to the clinician for checkup since I had paid for consultation at my first visit. I went through the same process and within the very short time I was done, I did this for all my ANC visit till delivery.
I surely did not understand how these people did that, as in every step is streamlined and no congestion at all, every time I want to have my body check up even though am not in rukungiri I all ways want to go back home to and use the same hospital simply because that system does not waste patients’ time.”
WINNIE T SAID.
The funny side was that Winnie never knew it was me who installed Helecare2x at Nyakibale Hospital and even trained hospital staff on how to use Helecare2x.
The pleasure I had about how Winnie felt about how Helecare2x has significantly improved the hospital operations prompted me to write about Helecare2x.
It would not be fair it I don’t recognize the team behind Helecare2x development
For the first time in history of Uganda there is now a fully customized health Management information t system to be used in hospitals based in Uganda and other African countries that have the same medic setting.
Thanks to Helecare2x team for good job done, Helecare2x comes with different modules that are commonly used in health facilities in Uganda, look at registration module under Out Patient Department ,HMIS Reporting module, Billing module ,Dispensing module among others .
Helecare2x is currently available for free since it was developed from care2x which is an open source platform, for as long as there is a competent IT person, Helecare2x is very easy and cheaper to use in-terms of installation and machine requirements.
The cases where Hospitals do not have a competent IT management, then Helecare2x team charges for installation and support. Helecare2x provides for different sizes of health facilities including clinics, center IV, III and referral hospitals. Helecare2x is a master at managing patient data, billing, lab management and keeping all forms of clinical records
Helecare2x is not trial system, its is a stable HMIS that is under use by a number of health facilities in Ugandan Hospitals.
It may be true that some hospitals have no time for Helecare2x training due to limited staff or may not have capacity to pay Helecare2x team to provide training and support ,Helecare2x has a manual that one can download for free and follow step by step to install and use the system, the manual is currently available for free in PDF format however the team is working on an online manual that is more professional and easy to access .
This Health Management Information System (HMIS) is not theoretical (not on paper), acouple of Health facilities from different districts in ugandan are currently and happily using the system .
For those who would to see Helecare2x in action , you will need to visit health facilities that are using it, below are some of the Hospital samples that are currently using Helecare2x.
Zia Angelina Health Center in Namugongo
Benedict Medical Center in Kampala
Ryna Medical Center
St Joseph’s Hospital in Nothern Uganda , among others.
This is a true personal experience in Uganda from an independent software specialist of which I believe some one else may have experienced the same especially in Africa. There is this common inborn mind about the doubts in technology especially when it comes to health related date security in African Health Facilities.
I tried searching for an HMIS that would perfectly fit the African health facility setting particularly Ugandan after being tasked by a Hospital that I was working for at that time as an Information Technology Specialist, It took me a couple for months searching online for a better option but all in vain, I tried to share my havoc with a friend within the same field of Information Technology who referred me to a certain private company that fully customized an international open source Health Management Information System (HMIS) to be used In African Countries Hospital Setting , thanks to DecimalWorks , That’s’ how I was introduced to HeleCare2X.
Helecare2 was built from an international Open Source Health Information Management System (HMIS) called Care2X by a group of software developers thanks to DecimalWorks to work perfectly in African countries’ Hospital setting. To be honest I was hesitant to introducing Helecare2x to my place of work because I was still doubting the potential of Africans to fully customize international Open Source Health Information Management System (HMIS) and then apply it to our hospitals in African particularly Uganda till we moved to a number to Health facilities that were happily using Helecare2x. I am not advertising Helecare2x neither is I advertising DecimalWorks but trying to share my personal experience and thanking Helecare2x developers for the good job done. I can’t fail to acknowledge these health facilities that were actively using Helecare2x that allowed me to take a look and ask number of questions.
• Benedict Medical Center in Kampala
• St Josephs Hospital Kitgum from Kitgum District
• Benedictine Eye Hospital from Tororo
• St Mary’s Kagongo Hospital
• Nyakibale Hospital,
And other hospitals that are actively using Helecare2x that I dint get opportunity to visit, I truly and trusty introduced Helecare2x as my assignment to my place of work (currently my previous work place) and are happily appreciating my contribution to the smooth running of the Facility.
The common nightmare that hospital administrators have is when it comes time to submit the compulsory reports to ministry of health. In Uganda, the ministry directive is that the Health Management Information System Reports (HMIS) must always submitted be every after six months and after one year. Practically summing up such reports after every year is one major cause of sleepless nights to hospital administrators just because they lack an easy and simple way to electronically generate reports
The practice is that hospital administrators have to go though a pile of papers in order to come up with a combined report after a couple of days if not months. Consequently, some time they submit poor reports due to misplacement of some papers or some written documents being destroyed by rodents.
Gone are the days when such hustles used to happen, Helecare2x (http:helecare.com), a product of decimalworks ltd was introduced to solve paper relate data storage and retrieval problems. Imagine a patient returning to hospital after six months for check up and then a pile of files have to be checked in such of a single patient, think about the time spent on single patient, yet there other 100s of patients waiting.
Helecare2x does this in a couple of seconds, for as long as a patient visited the hospital once and his information captured, its easier to retrieve his details by just performing a search of the patient’s name.
Helecare2x does not only stop at just searching of patients’ details but also the total number of patients that visited the facility, assessing the performance of doctors, that is number of patients that a doctor has worked on in a certain month, its true that @HeleCare2X does all this in a minute for as long as some know exactly what should be done and how to do it.
Apart from reporting, Helecare2x solves the problem of doctors having to write prescriptions for patients to present to pharmacists, most doctors use a handwriting that is always almost impossible for pharmacists to understand, this is solved since prescription is done electronically.
Helecare2x with its easy to use interface is a truly revolutionary system for managing electronic patient records.
Medical Information Systems form an essential part of health care services because they collect process and store medical data. They support decision making process by medical workers.
Functions within Health Facilities are dependent on collected information on performance indicators. This information is used for patient care, decision making for the facility and feeds into monitoring systems at the District, Diocesan Health office, UCMB and at the National level.
In the past all UCMB facilities had all patient records handled manually on paper and as you can imagine, the bulk of patient records are generated at the patient level and there is duplication of records because each time a patient visits a hospital, a new set of paper based record is generated. This makes reference to these records very cumbersome and failure to get accurate patient history by medical workers could lead to misdiagnosis and administration of wrong medicines leave alone the fact that the amount of time a patient spends at the facility increases in addition to material resources used like paper forms.
Under the C4C health systems strengthening project, 14 hospitals comprising of 43.7% of all the hospitals in the UCMB network have been supported to Automate Patient Records Management which would ease data managed and support decision making and timely access to patient records. The system in use is Care2x an open source product. It was customized to emulate the typical data flow in a hospital setting.
As a standard practice, whenever a patient visits a health facility for medical treatment, one of the first activities to be carried out on a patient is to take measurements. The measurements that are taken from the patient include,:- Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, Temperature, Head Circumference, Respiration, Pulse, RBS, MUAC and oxygen circulation among others. The height and weight measurements are used to calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the patient being worked on.
The new helecare design allows several measurements to be taken whenever necessary. It also allows quick and faster navigation from one set of measurements to another.
Management of drugs is one of the core challenges faced by health service providers. They need to know the current stock of drugs in the facility when they are to expire, the cost, batches and balances.
It is not common for clinicians to prescribe drugs that do not exist in their dispensaries. Whereas such a prescription may be out of a serious necessity, several alternative drugs with the same effect may be available in the facility. When such a scenario happens they dispenser usually sends back the patient for the clinician to make adjustments. With helecare, we have made it very easy for clinicians to know in real-time the currently available drugs in the system.
This functionality has greatly reduced on movement of patients back and forth within the hospital facilities.