140 Facilities Integrated On Electronic Medical Records System To Improve HIV Management

At least 145 health facilities have been enrolled in a common electronic medical records system to improve their capacities in HIV case management.  The system has been built by Rakai Health Sciences Program-RHSP, a none government agency dealing in research and coordinating HIV management interventions in districts of the greater Masaka sub-region. 

It has been installed in health facilities in Rakai, Kyotera, Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Kalangala, Lyantonde, Lwengo, Sembabule, Butambala, Gomba, and Mpigi districts, which have now been enabled to electronically share clients’ data such as code numbers, doctors attending to patients and the treatment they receive at the time for easy follow up.

Absalom Ssetuba, the Records Manager at RSHP says that the system has integrated all Anti-retroviral clinics that provide HIV treatment and care in the region, which can now closely work with each other in tracing all patients to ensure that they are closely monitored for adherence to treatment and when they are supposed to show up for drug refills.

According to Ssetuba, the system also makes it possible for HIV treatment service providers and monitors to know the time a client spends at a given health facility, which eventually helps to improve efficiency at the Anti-retroviral clinics wherever they are. 

Ssetuba explains that the system helps them to know the number of clients in the cohort and the specification of their drugs, which eventually guides them in the procurement processes of drugs and other medical commodities.

Scovia Nalubega, a Counsellor at Kalisiizo Hospital in Kyotera district observes that although a similar system was introduced in some parts of the country as early as 2017, the region was still lagging behind.  

According to Nalubega, besides easing records storage and reporting by service providers, the system will also help in eliminating stigma related to HIV, explaining that the positive clients can now be addressed by their code numbers as opposed to their names, which was uncomfortable for some people. 

She adds that the system will also enable the clients to freely access services at places of their convenience because the required data has now been made easily accessible among service providers.  The World Health Organization-WHO requires countries to initiate effective guidelines and systems of monitoring HIV patients to ensure improvement in the healthcare delivery system.  

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