eHealth Philippines: Technology in Support of Kalusugang Pangkalahatan
The dream of a universal health care program is quite noble. We all want everyone to gain access and to receive the necessary health services in order to ensure equal benefits for all. To be able to bring about health care even to the most remote areas of the country is a daunting task but is an ideal necessity that will be very beneficial to our countrymen.
This is where information and communication technology play a vital role. We need an infrastructure that would assist us in getting and delivering information that would be used by our medical practitioners and decision makers involved in the deployment of these health services.
The partnership forged among the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) and the Department of Health (DOH) to come out with the Philippine Health Information Exchange (PHIE), is an initiative that would ensure accurate and timely health information exchange that can be instrumental in improving the services of these three agencies as well as the other organizations that could use the said data.
At a press conference which was part of the eHealth Forum held the same day, July 26, 2014, at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia complex, several heads of government agencies like the DOH and DOST presented to the media the PHIE project. Leading the press conference panel were Secretary Enrique T. Ona of DOH, Secretary Mario G. Montejo of DOST, UnderSecretary Teodoro J. Herbosa of DOH, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya of PHRD, and Dr. Shaun J. Grannis of the Regenstrief Institute USA. Everyone was available to the inquiries of the media.
The DOST, through its Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), will provide infrastructure and security support for the DOH - PhilHealth Harmonized Data Warehouse platform. The data warehouse system will be managed and maintained by both DOH and PhilHealth.
Though many are saying that its promising, the project is relatively not easy at all. This will definitely require a lot of funding, and its completion may take years before we could actually feel the benefits. If the current administration is replaced, this may fall into the same fate as where many other projects ended - either the total scrapping or revision.
But these scenarios should not stop our leaders from creating an ideal system We should be thinking positively that the one to take place will continue what was started. However, we should not be concerning ourselves with it since we all know that the good will still prevail no matter what.
The event also showcased two new reporting systems to be available at the end of 2014: Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Systems - a DOH developed information intelligent system for mothers, pregnant, that supports the enrolment of expectant mothers and their babies, records the maternal and child health care services provided them, as well as monitor their progress, and the eHATID projects - a software application in an android tablet that offers real-time acces to information among LGUs and medical doctors which will integrate an electronic version of the PhilHealth's Primary Care Benefit 1 (PCB 1). The system can able to map out, update and check the eligibility status of all PhilHealth members.