New Computer Network to Benefit Patients in Western Highlands

The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) has installed a new computer network that will enable doctors at Mt Hagen Hospital to check and treat patients referred from district hospitals without delay.

The new network will allow doctors to identify patients using finger prints and check their diagnosis for correct treatment.

It is part of an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure development program the WHPHA has initiated that will directly benefit patients and improve patient care throughout the Western Highlands Province.

Under the new arrangements, the district hospitals will have computer terminals that will be connected to the main server at the Provincial Health Authority Headquarters and all diagnostic information on both out-patients and in-patients will be recorded and an identification number issued to each patient.

When a patient is referred to Mt Hagen Hospital, the examining doctor will ask the patient to put his finger on a scanner and the diagnostic information will appear on the screen which will then enable the doctor to make an informed decision on the type of treatment to be given.

The new IT system was launched by the then Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Kintwa during a small but significant ceremony at the WHPHA Headquarters recently, witnessed by the senior management and the media.

Dr. Kintwa said the new system was part of the National Health Plan which talked about stakeholders developing IT systems to provide better health care and “we are doing it within our facilities to provide an efficient patient care system for our people throughout the province”.

Under the system, those authorized to use it like the senior management and doctors can now call up the district hospitals through the network from their offices and find out how many out-patients have been checked and treated in a day.

Information on in-patients in district hospitals cannot be accessed at this stage as it requires more details but this is being worked on and the system should be ready for use in the next couple of months.