The Chef Executive Officer of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH), Dr. Daniel Asare is assuring patients who visit the facility that their records are safer and more secure with the hospital’s transformation of service delivery recordings from manual to electronic.
Dr. Asare tells ATL FM News, professionals at the facility are strictly complying with the Data Protection Legislation in order not to compromise their code of ethics.
The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, from the beginning of this year, took the giant step as the first public teaching hospital to implement the Electronic Health Record System in Ghana.
Responding to concerns of the safety of records in an integrated system, Dr. Asare explains that the system operates on a local area network and offers opportunity for a more secure system of record keeping, which is better than the old system.
‘If you go to some hospitals, you will find a plantain seller using part of a torn lab results. Currently you go to most hospitals and people take their folders home because there is no space and you will find the records all over the place, either on the table or the pharmacy counter.
You also find patient’s relatives holding and reading the folders when they are told to go for the prescription. So as it is, the current system does not offer any confidentiality.’
Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH) premises Photo : MissionToAfrica
Dr Daniel Asare said proper record keeping has been a problem in a lot of hospitals.
According to him, ‘ownership of data created is supposed to stay with the creator. It means that the provider is supposed to host and store your medical records for the time that you will need them, but after twenty five years, you suppose to send them to archives.
The archives in Ghana are all full, so we tend to keep some of them for a long term and they are in some storage areas that you can’t even find.’
With the implementation of the paperless system, a major concern that has come up is the safety and confidentiality of patient’s records.
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Cape Coast Teaching Hospital
However, the CEO of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital says, ’no one will have access to patient’s medical records in order to stigmatize them. For the digitalized system, we have peculiar information for those at the records, for nurses and for doctors. But for the doctors they will have access to the information from the records and all other departments because they are professionals and are bound to lose their license should any confidential information of a patient go out.’
Dr Asare says the new system keeps information between only the Dr and the patient.
He explains that, ‘for the digitalized system, for instance, when a patient goes to the hospital, we have people who check their weight and BP. The staff who do this process have access to only this information. Only the doctor sees the records of the patient’s information, gives his diagnosis and closes it. No individual except the doctor or the clinical team in charge of a case, has access to the patient’s disease information.’
Source: Mary Ama Bawa / ATL FM News