News ICT at government health institutions

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During the past two decades, computers have revolutionised the way we live. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are now part of every critical infrastructure, from telecommunication to banking to transportation. But usage of ICT and induction of e-Governance in health sector has remained very low as compared to other sectors, despite having a very high potential. The health sector, which is an important sector, should encourage ICT usage.

Keeping the above in mind, the NIC-Haryana State Centre and Directorate of Health Service, Haryana jointly initiated a mission mode project of e.Health.Net (ICT based health care system) during the beginning of the year 2003. The project mission was “To set up an efficient, effective, transparent and IT-enabled integrated system to provide the health care services to the people of Haryana so that their present position of health could be upgraded and uplifted”. Health Informatics is implemented to tone up the adminis-tration, facilitate accounting and enable effective management control. It also deals with collection, storage, retrieval, commu-nication and optimal use of health related data, information and knowledge base. Health Informatics was used in Haryana primarily with processing of data, information and knowledge in all aspects of healthcare.

Identification of areas for e-Governance applications

a. Public Centric Application includes Physical Disability Certification, Medical Certification, Birth and Death Certification, Blood Bank Compute-risation (Net/web based), User Fee Collection & Utilisation Monito-ring. The Hospital Computerisation includes Patient Registration, Admi-ssion, Discharge, Transfer, Bed Manage-ment, Wards Management Module, and Laboratory Information System and  Telemedicine, for utilising super-specialty healthcare in rural blocks.

b. Health Vital Statistics includes Medical certification of cause of death based on Form 4 and 4A, morbidity and mortality, Annual Administrative Report, disease prevalence – burden of disease based on ICD –X, performance indicators of health institution based on Form-D, monitoring implementation of Acts related to healthcare, Pre-Natal Diagnosis test-Prevention and control Act, Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, Employee Insurance Scheme drug procurement & distribution system, monitoring implementation of national and state health programme.

c. Office Automation Packages includes personnel information system for medico staff, budget utilisation monitoring system, payroll system, medical reimbursement system, court cases MIS, centralised file movement and tracking, dairy/dispatch.

d. Decision Support Systems includes Medicine Inventory Monitoring and Control System, Doctors Leave / tours Monitoring Information System, Health Infrastructure Monitoring and Evaluation System, Survey module.

e. IT awareness Activities like Basic IT training on office tools, exposure to latest happening in the field of health Informatics.
f. Other National/State Level Programmes like School Health, Blindness Control, RNTCP / DOTS, Mother and Child Health, Family Welfare, Control of Vector Borne Disease. In addition there is a requirement of interface with other third party / external application software in Health Department

Strategy adopted in Haryana
The e-Governance plan of the Health Department, amounting to Rs. 299.43 lacs was approved by the IT-PRISM (State level IT steering committee) in its 11th meeting held on 18 September 2003. The ICT infrastructure was created at State Head Quarter (HQ) and all districts at civil surgeon offices. To ensure the optimum utilization of ICT equipment, civil surgeons were advised to shift all the computers and computer manpower (irrespective of health programme/scheme under which computers and manpower were provided) to a common place. Internet/e-mail has been made functional in all the districts. All official communication has been put through cyber media (e-mail/Internet). Optimal uses of e-mail are being ensured.

Use of e-mail has been emphasized to save avoidable financial burden on the state exchequer.

District nodal officers have been designated who are responsible for overall implementation, supervision and monitoring and evaluation of the compute-risation. They are coordinating with the civil surgeon, district programme officers and the state headquarter for smooth implementation of ICT initiatives in their respective district. To increase the computer literacy, an extensive training programme has been started at the State HQ. Training is ongoing as per training calendar. In house service orientation training of the employees of the districts are being carried out at the district headquarter. The district nodal officers and data entry operators are asked to co-ordinate the training activities and ensure its speedy completion so as to bring complete computer literacy in the district and send monthly report to State HQ through e-mail. Over the past two years, the NIC-HRSC has developed and implemented e-Governance solutions for important key areas of health administration.

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