By Fatou Saho
Last week, the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) launched its first electronic medical record (EMR) system donated by MRC Gambia to the surgical outpatient department. An EMR system is a software programme that allows healthcare pratitioners to create, store, and receive digital versions of patients’ healthcare charts.
A senior consultant neurosurgeon and head of the department of surgery at the EFSTH, Dr John Jabang, said the surgical outpatient department is a very important component of the hospital.
“The Lancet Commission on the Global Burden of Surgical Diseases, Gen Surgery, and others will roll this system out to cover labs, wards, theatres, etc. So we should also be able to roll out the EMR system at the surgical department to involve all other units in the EFSTH; hence, surgical diseases are becoming a public health concern,” said Dr Jabang.
The head of applications development and E-Health, Gilleh Thomas, said the EMRS helped in automated appointment management, record scanning, improved patient safety, enhanced workflow, and efficiency.
The unit director of MRCG, Umberto Alessandro, said the system is also very important for research purposes.
“I am glad that you mentioned breast cancer research as part of what you would be doing with the software,” he said.
He said the MRC is not a donor organisation but will work together with healthcare providers in the country to provide resources.