Electronic Patient Info System delayed due to COVID

The Ministry of Health (MoH) had targeted the electronic Patient Information System (ePIS) to reach at least 44 health facilities in the first year and so far the project has been handed to the Thimphu Tech Park Limited (TTPL) through DHI as per the government directive.

ePIS, is a superior integrated system which the government had proposed as one of the key components of the Health flagship program which will enable in building an online patient record system.

Other than the patient record feature the system is also aimed at tracking down outbreaks of flus and early detection of non-communicable diseases at early stages and also in ensuring that patients do not have to wait in long cues at the hospitals to do retesting which as per MoH will ensure that optimal resource utilization and time effectiveness for patients. 

Garab Dorji, Chief ICT Officer, Directorate of Services, MoH said, “TTPL could not get the required external consultant (IT and Health experienced) to implement the complex system integration (system and machine) due to the pandemic and so the project got delayed”.

Dr. Tshering Cigay Dorji CEO, TTPL said, “We have done a lot of background study and confirmed the high-level technical requirements and system architecture. We are currently in the process of selecting a competent and experienced international partner for the ePIS.”

He said, “In the future, we should be able to take up many of the projects on our own. We will use this opportunity to learn from international partners and build our capacity.”

He added, “The other advantage is that we should be able to provide continued maintenance support and enhancements locally.”

In response to the pandemic situation, the Chief ICT Officer added, “Everyone realises that a good system is very essential across all health facilities for effective planning, monitoring and decision making for the ministry.”

He said that in response to the current pandemic the government had to develop several new systems such as health facilities system to record data of patients visiting flu clinic and people being quarantined, Stay Home app to monitor people being home quarantined, and the COVID-19 dashboard which would have been not required if ePIS was functioning as it would capture all the required data and provide the necessary reports for monitoring, planning and decision making.

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