by Donella Hosten
Discussions about electronic medical records within the health sector have been happening for more than 5 years. To date, this has not yet become a reality.
Minister for Health, Hon Nickolas Steele, has given the assurance that the upcoming National Health Insurance (NHI) is the perfect opportunity to have the medical records system updated.
Steele claims that having electronic medical records will improve the services offered to patients. “The most significant part of electronic records is [the] 1 patient 1 record.” He said that this record would be used for that patient wherever they decide to access medical attention on the island.
Additionally, the patient’s medical history will be accessible to all medical practitioners within the public system.
According to the Health Minister, the records will also indicate the time the patient walked into the health centre and how long it took for them to get attended.
Not only will the electronic records show a patient’s information, but it will also display information about the health facility, the nurses and doctors, including the length of time spent with any particular patient.
Although an official date has not yet been set for the implementation of the electronic medical records, Steele has assured that once done, “patients in Grenada through their mobile phones, will be able to tell the waiting times before they get there.” He said too that patients would be able to inform the facility beforehand that they are on their way.
The records will also be available to the patients should they need to travel abroad for medical attention.