Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa to digitise a minimum of 800m patient records over three years

The Gauteng Department of Health (DoH) in South Africa has begun the process of digitising patient records within its public hospitals, setting a target for 800 million to be digitised over the next three years as a “minimum”.

The initiative forms a part of the DoH’s wider aim to expedite the adoption and “proficient utilisation” of its eHealth system throughout the province’s 37 public hospitals, which will help support the secure storage of patient records, simplify access and management of medical information, and foster “a more efficient and effective healthcare system”.

Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, MEC for health and wellness, said: “Our hospitals stand to reduce operational costs associated with traditional paper-based record-keeping, eliminate time wasted on manual patient file searches and establish accurate records essential for legal and litigation purposes. The digitisation and back scanning of patient records will reinforce data security, ensuring seamless compliance with privacy and security regulations.”

Four areas of focus have been identified for the digitisation project: patient administration, with the new system offering more efficient patient registration, appointment scheduling and management; maternity services, with an “integrated digital platform” to help in the tracking and management of maternity care; chronic care management, with a digital chronic care management system to help monitor patients with chronic illnesses; and mental health services, creating a “digital framework” offering data management, patient monitoring, and enhanced coordination of care.

The DoH reports that 100 young people from local communities have been trained and employed for the project, taking responsibility for the scanning and capturing of paper-based files.

The announcement follows the DoH’s successful implementation of three modules of the Health Information System, which have been “seamlessly integrated” into all 37 hospitals and 33 community health centres.

To learn more, please click here.

In other news from South Africa, Altron HealthTech and Dischem Oncology have announced that they are collaborating on a solution designed to provide clinicians with access to digital health advances, with the aim of “reducing the cost of digital health infrastructure while increasing access to approved treatment protocols and clinical workflows alongside interoperability, patient access to health data and payment reforms”.

Explore HTN Interviews