Concern over management system of those vaccinated

AS vaccination to prevent severe illness associated with COVID-19 continues, there are growing concerns about the management and documentation system of those who have already received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The concerns were that the recording was being done manually with no 21st century mode of tracking and monitoring the health profile of those already vaccinated.

But, Dunstan Bryan, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW), said the ministry signed an agreement with UNICEF for the management system, however, now, in the first phase of the operation, the ministry was documenting manually.

Bryan said the system will be ready and the ministry will be uploading the information that it has collected manually to the system, which will be live in the second week of April.

To prevent data loss in the event of a system crash, Bryan said the database has several redundancies that can be accessed in an unfortunate eventuality.

“Data is stored in more than one database and therefore the security and the redundancy is structured in that way. So if, God forbid, one system should go down, there is a reserve system that is stored in another facility that can be retrieved.

Moreover, regarding the digitisation of medical records, Bryan said that that was still on the table, and several negotiations were taking place and a procurement process is expected to be launched shortly for a supplier.

In an effort to allay fears of individuals regarding the privacy of their medical records when the digitisation process takes flight, Bryan said the fear is a risk most will have to manage in the context of the benefits that will accrue once people go in a digital space, where there is greater efficiency.

“There is a lot of time efficiency that is gained, plus you have the ability for collaboration between doctors to ensure that at the end of the day your treatment is in one file. When you’re transferring a patient from one hospital to the next, it’s no longer a matter of the physical file coming with the patient, it’s now a function of the electronic file moving between facilities in a digital space. Doctors are able to view the same file at the same time, they are able to query information in the file at the same time because they can see it in the same digital space,” Bryan said.

— Kimberley Hibbert

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