Chhimi Dema

About 100 beneficiaries of the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu (DGRK) digitalised health records at the national referral hospital.

The beneficiaries, who completed class 10 and above with computational skills, were engaged in the digitilisation project.

They digitilised 52,051 files containing medical records from 2018 to 2020, and the expanded programme of immunisation data from 1997 to 2017 in two months.  The project completed on February 17.

Officials from DGRK said that the project was conceptualised and formulated in line with the development of Electronic Patient Information System (e-PIS) project, which is a part of the Digital Drukyul flagship programme that will maintain digital health records for all citizens.

The project converted analogue health records into digital format through data entry, scanning and archiving for easy retrieval.

Officials said that it was difficult to harvest analytics since health records were in hard copies. “The beneficiaries scanned and transferred the records to a digital database for archival,” an official said.

They said that the scanned files were archived in ‘Master Patient Index’ where information of patients was accessible by entering the hospital registration number and citizenship identity card number. “This would help the health workers to access health records of patients easily.”

Through the project, some beneficiaries were engaged to digitise the ICT inventory at the health ministry and all health facilities to prepare for ICT equipment distribution under the e-PIS project.

Officials said that the inventory would assist the health ministry in planning ICT equipment distribution and vaccine camp identification for the Covid-19 vaccination project as well.

The health ministry’s chief ICT officer, Garab Dorji, said that the pilot project would help to avoid duplicate test and medications. “Medical records are important to understand past medical history.”

He said that the e-PIS would include mobile applications for patients to make appointments and health professionals. “There is also a feature of sharing medical records among all the health facilities in the country so that patients need not carry documents or worry about lost or misplaced documents.”