Digital HealthNews Letter

Primary Healthcare Strengthening Project and Health Information Management System (HIMS Cloud)

Sri Lanka as a lower middle-income country is facing the challenge of providing universal health care coverage throughout the country. Growing elderly population, Increasing the number of non-communicable diseases, and increasing out of pocket expenditure for healthcare alarm an establishing a stronger Primary Health care system in Sri Lanka. Government has included this to sustainable development goal in the universal health coverage. Ministry of Health with cooperation of Ministry of Provincial councils and local government in Sri Lanka has launched five-year project to strengthening primary care to face this challenge.

Sri Lankan Primary Health care system has two parallel services, curative health sector and preventive health sector. Preventive care service is responsible for community health services such as maternal and child health, communicable diseases, and health promotion. Curative sector consists 496 division hospitals that is capable of both hospitalization and ambulatory services and 474 primary medical care units provide only ambulatory care.

The Primary Health care strengthening project Is empowered with a cloud-based Digital Health Information Management System which can store and sharing clinical Information of patients’ such as demographic information, examination data, diagnosis, and investigation data. The system was launched in 2019 with the collaboration of Health Information Unit, Ministry of Health and it’s been established in 295 hospitals so far. Over 400000 people above 35 years old are already empaneled into the system and screened for communicable diseases. Currently, the system caters for empanelment and Healthy Lifestyle Clinic functionalities. In the year 2020 the main development target of this software system was to develop a medical clinic module. It will fill the gap of communication between healthy lifestyle clinic and medical follow up. Pharmacy module, Patient referring, and Investigations have also been included in this design.  This cloud-based system will step by step cover the whole functionality of the hospital including patient management of outpatient Departments, clinics, and ward admissions as well. Further, it will be inter-operable with the National Electronic Health Record System of Sri Lanka in future.

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