Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says government has embraced the use of digital platforms as it seeks to improve the delivery of health services across the country.
Dr Chilufya said the Ministry of Health has already implemented a paperless mode of operations in Hospitals in Chipata and the Southern Province as way of enhancing efficiencies.
He said government is fully committed to implementing various e-Health initiatives in line with President Edgar Lungu broad agenda to run a smart government.
Dr Chilufya was speaking in Lusaka when he officiated at the launch of a new digital health product called Venous developed by Zamtel and its technology partner Zcom Systems Limited.
Venous is an Integrated Hospital Management Digital System designed to enable health care providers service their clients electronically.
It also allows for automated record management and improved clinical decisions and facilitates quick and coordinated patient care.
Other key benefits for Venous is that it significantly helps to cut drug thefts and provides for the generation of real time analytics that give hospital authorities necessary statistics for ease of management and decision making.
Venous also helps reduce the physical interaction between patients and medical personnel as it also comes with a Mobile Application with features to enable patients make appointments, change Hospital appointments and receive notifications of Hospital appointment dates.
“Investment in technology key to improving efficiencies. We have in the past seen files that have piled up in departments for a long time and someone has to physically pull them out before going to see a Specialist who gives you more forms. This has made health service delivery inefficient,” Dr Chilufya said.
He added, “Government of His Excellency President Edgar Lungu has made it clear that e-government will be the way to go and this will be a key legacy for President Lungu in the implementation of the Seventh National Development Plan. As a Ministry, we have introduced eHealth services, we have gone electronic in our logistics, procurement and training programmes, we are all using e-platforms.”
Dr Chilufya said going fully paperless is fundamental because government wants to ensure health services are improved and people are productive as they acquire health services.
He said government is proud of what Zamtel is doing as it helps to push President Lungu’s health transformation agenda.
And Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta says the launch of Venous represents another huge milestone in the Digital Transformational journey that Zamtel has embarked on.
“Venous will drastically transform the way in which health care services are delivered in this country and the region. Using cutting edge technologies, we have built a platform that responds to the needs of the patients of today but is also future-ready.”
He added, “We have successfully piloted the platform at Fairview Hospital and the outcomes have been excellent. Venous is customized for both private and government health facilities including external Pharmacies and Laboratories.”
Mr Mupeta stated, “in order to reduce the physical interaction between Patients and Medical Personnel, we have developed a Mobile Application to enable patients make appointments and receive notifications at any point in the process. In addition, Patients will soon be able to find nearby laboratories and pharmacies as well as undertake remote consultation.”
Meanwhile, Fairview Hospital Medical Director Dr Abdallah Barakat remarked that integration of Venous into their administrative processes has resulted in increased efficiency at the hospital.
Dr. Barakat noted that the launch of platforms such as Venous are critical as they help improve the quality of life for Zambians adding that the health sector has over the last five years seen major improvements with different players entering the market to offer different services.
“Investors also look at quality of health systems in the country before making investment decisions. Developments such as the launch of Venous are particularly encouraging to existing healthcare providers as they challenge us to keep improving our services which ultimately benefit the Zambian people,” he said.