Phuket public health system goes digital

PHUKET: With the aim of utilizing IT and innovation to improve the healthcare sector, and public healthcare services in particular, the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) linked hands with the National Electronic and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) to develop the Personal Health Record (PHR) system.

The system has initially been launched at government hospitals in five provinces, including Phuket, Nakhon Nayok, Kanchanaburi, Phetchabun and Roi Et. Under the new system, doctors are able to access patient information from a data center that will lead to better on-time treatment.

The Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) has been using the system for a month already.

“We have received good feedback from both health officers and citizens so far. The system gives users a chance to check their health records on line. At this stage, there are about 300 registered users,” says PPHO IT officer Kittisak Chosiwongpipat.

“There are a total of 29 state health centers in Phuket that this system was introduced to. The users, including doctors, officers and patients, can use this system to access their healthcare and treatment records at any state hospital for up to five years,” he added.

Chularat Tanprasert, director of the Information, Communication and Computing Research Unit at NECTEC, and leader of the PHR project, said that work began in 2013 in collaboration with SIPA to provide a service platform in the area of public health and medical personnel records for Thai citizens via an Android-based PHR mobile application.

Users can access the centrally stored data via computers, tablets and other smart devices, she said, adding that the PHR system gave everyone the opportunity to securely access medical and personal health data.

The system comprises four categories: health history, treatment, health check-up and “behavior adjustment”, and health analysis.

“The health history element provides personal health data, data from district health authorities, health security data, a list of nearby healthcare providers, and information on health education and guidelines,” says Ms Chularat.

The treatment element provides medical history, immunization history and appointment data. The health check-up and behavior-adjustment element will facilitate annual health checks and self-health assessment, and also provide data on the evolution of health conditions, exercise and dietary information.

Lastly, the health-analysis element provides total healthcare information for individuals, from the treatment of existing conditions to pro-active or preventative treatment.

Jirawan Boonperm, chair of the executive board at SIPA, says the collaboration will enhance public healthcare service and improve the quality of public hospitals for all Thais.

“The software agency is negotiating with the Public Health Ministry to utilize the PHR system and provide it to public hospitals nationwide as the next step in the project,” she says.

As a result, all state-hospital patients will be able to access their healthcare records and benefit from doctors being able to instantly get the latest information on them from the PHR system nationwide, adds Ms Jirawan.

Sarun Sumriddetchkajorn, executive director of NECTEC, says the PHR system will allow all Thais to access their healthcare information via a smart device, utilize it to become more pro-active about their health, and protect themselves as much as possible from disease.

“Moreover, they will be able to get treatment from their doctor and hospital on time, as medical professionals will be able to access the pooled patient database built up from data supplied by hospitals that participate in the project,” he says.

Any citizens interested in utilizing the facility are invited to get their username and password from the PPHO or other health centers in their area.

Additional reporting by The Nation.

— Kongleaphy Keam

Thai Life

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