Monday, February 26, 2024

Zambia is going paperless in health service delivery-Dr Chilufya

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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.”

Zamtel CEO Sydney Mupeta speaking during the launch of Venous, a digital health product developed by Zamtel
Zamtel CEO Sydney Mupeta speaking during the launch of Venous, a digital health product developed by Zamtel

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.

29 COMMENTS

  1. And you wonder why Zamtel has not recorded a single profit even when they have been asked to streamline…you just wonder how much money is being wasted here compared to buying this software which is readily available from Microsoft. Chillufya just went there to mention Lazy Lungu’s name.

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  2. This Chitalu Chilufya and CEO of zamtel are mad, who need such an investment when we don’t have enough vehicles in hospitals in some districts around the country? People don’t eat such intangible investments foolish men! Edgar Lungu is indwii he can’t act on this man, what the hell is afraid of firing this man!? PF must go!

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  3. Paperless technology is a good initiative but I think it can wait. What is needed more urgently is contact tracing technology. Not sure if there’s already an MoH backed app?

  4. @T Orange, why do you just criticise for the sake of it? Microsoft specialise in business software. Medical software is written by specialist in Medical Systems. Cut the Cr.ap and grow up.

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  5. This will suit this thief Chilufya very well.

    No paper trail.

    The law will catch up with you one day.

    Bally will fix you soon.

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  6. If Edgar Lungu backs on security wings to prolong his stay, he will be shocked how he will be told to handover power at a gun point. I heard some dimwits saying we shall not handover power because they have police, army and ecz blah, blah, you will die in prisons. We sre talking about people’s lives here. Zambia is not gor few individuals and the security wings know that. Ask RB who wanted to resist. He was advised by tge senior citizens to handle over power. PF must go!

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  7. What happened to the national health insurance scheme which was supposed to benefit the subscribers from February this year. People have been paying for this from last year.

  8. Patriot Abroad… – MS among others do offer hospital software packages in use in US and NHS…check Microsoft hospital management system or Digital Health and everything Sydney is talking about there is available on Google Maps ..the chap Sdney should be at H/q thinking of how he can make Zamtel profitable not add on expenditure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Sounds like a good addiction to they way health services are run in Zambia. I hope it proves to be effective and efficient. But why are such developments always attributed to the President? They make it seem like he conceived, designed and implemented it all by himself.

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  10. This is not a PF government investment, That is a private hospital, investments has been made, its delusional for PF to claim they have developed the health sector because of the Telemedicine hospital. Wrong focus — UTH and Levy Mwanawasa hospitals and all other provincial hospitals require massive improvements for good and effective healthy delivery services. PF government appear to be without any national plan except stealing gold in North Western province.

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  11. As you would have noticed, I have recently had a number of people copying my profile here due to my increasing popularity. As such, my public relations team are working on a profile picture which will be unique and has never been used before. Please tell me what your thoughts are. Kz

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  12. Good move …….

    If dr Chilufyas name was not being called out by those 48 mansions that built themselves, me thinks he’d be better than lungu ……

    In acendency, the noose around his kneck will be the need to protect lungu from prosecution

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  13. @T Orange, yes Microsoft do Digital Health Tech, but what was particularly wrong with going with the one they have chosen? Like the comparator can’t just be a name. Anyway, conspiracy theorist reckon Bill Gates is responsible for Covid19…..! Until he is cleared let’s be cautious…!!!

    I mean he can’t own our seeds through Monsanto and then own our medical records too. Chaps all over the place.

  14. KZ

    You are funny.
    You should have had the president sign the picture.

    I will certainly buy you a beer in June.

  15. @Tarino Orange, like I have told you before, you my friend like talking even on issues you barely understand. First of all, what makes you think Zamtel is not doing this under contract? Secondly, if you think you can just buy a readily available commercial software (of any kind) off the market and automatically should work in all circumstances, then you are slow.

    If you understand even the basic COMPUTER NETWORK SYSTEM then you should know there is a lot that has to be done behind the scenes for computers to be able to talk to each other. I am sure what is being built here is NOT a freaking STAND-ALONE petient record system(s), but a system that can be updated, queried, extra.

    Even in a limited system that is meant to operate within a single hospital, you still are going to need…

  16. Continue….

    communication equipment for computers to talk to each other. Now, if you are talking about WIDE AREA NETWORKS (networks across distances) Telecom or Internet infrastructure comes into play. And this is where entities like ZAMTEL come in. Zamtel has to set up the infrastructure necessary so that these records can be accessed anywhere in Zambia at a press of a button.

    By the way, even in America and Britain you have alluded to, there are very sophisticated communication systems and standards behind the scenes that you don’t see. Even when what you see the desktop, laptop, etc, screen is a MS software application. The simple example I can give you is how the INTERNET is set up and works….there is plenty systems and software to run those systems behind the scenes that…

  17. Spaka….I don’t drink beer , to me beer is for the common man, my poison is Johnny Walker as I am always on the move but thanks for the generous offer.

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  18. The mere fact that Zambian engineers are used to build an indigenous platform is the kind of news we want to hear about

    Well done zamtel and on this rare occasion well done mr lungu and Dr. Chilufya

  19. That is my working President, the doer and not the naysayer. Digital is the way to go. This will also give us access to patients’ private records so we know what Bally is up to. Any law enforcement official or judge who stands in our way, we could easily blackmail them by releasing their health records on social media. Empowerment at its best! PF is here to stay. Kz

  20. KZ

    Who ever is posting using KZ , you are a sick individual that needs help.

    We are sensible enough to know that your private doctor will not breach patient confidentiality , unless maybe at UTH…….

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  21. Some people have no shame this Chilufya should have resigned along time ago but maweeeeeeee that young man is dead just like that anyway kama has its own way of treating people who think they are the only ones worth living time will come and it shall certainly come to pass.

  22. This is not a priority at the moment in a country that cannot even manage existing infrastructures and provide essential medical investigation equipment like Ultra sound ,CT , MRI scan machines . We dont even have corona virus testing kits across hospitals in our rich nation because we are managed by thu&s .To begin with Chilufya hasnt even got an an assessment report of what is needed to implement such a system . Zambia needs electricity to run such a system to start with which we have not got .Staff need to be trained .Computers and computer security systems etc…which cost millions and millions of dollars which we have not got .
    How on earth are we going to run such a system when we have ended up building forty eight houses without owners ?

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  23. First buy drugs, gloves, masks, linene and try to keep the hospitals clean. Then, that is when you can think of going digital

  24. Spaka, thanks for agreeing with me on this rare occasion. That is a definition of a man, give credit where credit is due. Let’s learn to disagree but let’s agree where there’s something positive our ever working government and president have done something good.

    Just a point of correction that the law as it stands right now allows Boma and government to have access to private individual records if it is in the interest of the country. I’m sure even there where you are where they worship useless private laws, it is the same. But we won’t abuse those powers. Kz

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  25. At least we are going paperless 20+ years after other countries implemented this. Hope it’s not a diversion tactic from COVID fatal errors. Just wondering why it has taken so long. Hope USAID can help you set up a more credible system!
    We are tired of hearing of missing employee and patient Files at MOH and it’s institutions.
    It’s however not enough to get excited without a plan of what happens to the Registry staff who will be made redundant by Technology. End to end planning is crucial in management of this change (MOC).

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