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Chamber seeks improved healthcare delivery through ICT

Chamber seeks improved healthcare delivery through ICT

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To improve healthcare delivery, there is the need for investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has said.

Its President, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said incorporating ICT into healthcare would improve the quality of health care, safety, and efficiency of public health service delivery.

He also said it would also improve the public health information infrastructure, support health care in the community and at home, while also facilitating clinical and consumer decision-making.

Akomolafe, who spoke at the inauguration of the chamber’s Healthcare Sector Group in Lagos, added that incorporating ICT tools into the healthcare delivery system would boost skills and knowledge.

The NACC Healthcare Sector Group was inaugurated at its Breakfast Meeting in Lagos. The meeting themed “Improving quality outcomes through health information” was sponsored by Flying Doctors Nigeria and Zenith Carex Limited.

The Healthcare Sector Group is expected to provide a platform for engagement by member-companies within the same industry.

It would also provide the needed platform for member companies to collaborate, undertake sector-focused advocacy and grow together with support from the secretariat.

Akomolafe, represented by the Chamber’s National Treasurer, Dr. Ikenna Nwaosu, noted that the traditional way of solving health problems was outdated hence the need to leverage on ICT to improve healthcare delivery system.

He said lack of adequate funding worsened the crisis in the health care sector in developing countries, particularly Nigeria. He, however, said access to ICT tolls would change the narrative.

“With the significant growth in Internet access in urban areas, health-care workers can adopt its usage for communication, access to relevant health-care information, and international collaboration.

“ICT can improve the quality of care patients receive by averting medical errors, improving communication and boosting efficiency,” he stated.

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, observed that the healthcare system was mostly paper-based, with manually operated documentation system.

He noted that the system was sub-optimal, as healthcare providers lacked the right computing skills proportional to their responsibilities.

He observed that patient information and direct clinical examination in most health institutions were still being drawn from paper–based records, which is slow and cumbersome.

Faduyile listed other challenges associated with the analogue healthcare system to include lack of uniformity and standards, inaccessibility, and inaccuracy.

He, therefore, said there was the need for advocacy, especially among health providers to adopt health information technology to drive health care.

He also said there was a need for collaboration among agencies and professional associations in the sector to ensure the deployment of ICT in healthcare.

Flying Doctors Nigeria founder Dr. Ola Brown highlighted the pillars of healthcare reform to include primary care expansion, healthcare financing, maternal/child health and centralisation of tertiary care.

Brown identified logistics as one of the most important aspects of healthcare, adding that air ambulances would help address this challenge.

 

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