Service excellence in healthcare

Innovative technology enhancing healthcare service delivery that's positively impacting the lives of Western Cape citizens.

Johannesburg, 25 Mar 2019
Leon Wolmarans, business development manager, Health System Technologies
Leon Wolmarans, business development manager, Health System Technologies

A Web-based application is being used in the Western Cape to support patient journeys between different healthcare facilities, providers and practitioners.

Leon Wolmarans, business development manager at Health System Technologies, explains: "The electronic continuity of care record (eCCR) was created to maintain the continuity of care from hospitals to primary healthcare by integrating, structuring and digitising patient discharge and referral processes. The application is integrated with the hospital's patient administration system and is able to interoperate with other health information systems."

"The eCCR application meets a variety of system needs," Wolmarans says. "It creates a discharge summary in a standardised format for hospital in-patients; and integrates several forms and processes, thereby reducing the duplication of patient information. It also communicates the patient care pathway to subsequent members of the multidisciplinary care team across the service delivery platform. Referral and discharge processes have been identified as key opportunities where healthcare providers can contribute to the continuity of care, as they allow for the recording and capturing of vital information about patient encounters, such as patient history, diagnosis, treatment and further management plans."

Previously, the capturing of discharge information was manual and arduous. A child diagnosed with tuberculosis, for example, would require the completion of 10 separate forms. The eCCR integrates these processes and reduces the time spent preparing discharge summaries. It enables multiple users across facilities to access a consolidated care plan, thereby allowing electronic sharing and dissemination of patient information to authorised users.

The eCCR also includes forms from key health programmes, referral features and geocoding functionality that locates the patient's residential address and three nearby health facilities that can continue patient care. This enables a co-ordinated response for patients with notifiable medical conditions, as well as a geographic whole-of-society response to the burden of disease at the citizen level.

The patient discharge process includes the prescription of medication for the patient to take home in the form of e-scripting for patient medication. "The software design adheres to user experience design principles so that it's intuitive and requires minimal user training," concludes Wolmarans.

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The eCCR design by Health System Technologies received a silver award in the category of Best Public Service Innovator at the 2018 Premier's Service Excellence Awards held recently in the Western Cape.