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Electronic health records system in operation at Spanish Town Hospital – Jamaica Observer

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Manager, Health Systems Strengthening Programme, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Orrett Clarke, addresses a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, on May 14. (Photo: Adrian Walker/JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Electronic Health Records (EHR) System is now operational at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine, with full implementation set for the end of this month.

This would bring to three the total number of health facilities to have implemented the EHR System under the Ministry of Health and Wellness Health System Strengthening Programme (HSSP).

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank on May 14, HSSP Programme Manager, Orrett Clarke, noted that the contract for the STH implementation was valued at over US$5 million and said the design and costings had been completed for eight facilities that are being upgraded under the programme.

He pointed out that the system had already been fully implemented at the May Pen Hospital and the May Pen East Health Centre.

The three facilities are part of the 13 that have been earmarked for upgrades under component one of the programme.

Clarke further explained that the HSSP has two main components.

“Component one focuses on the upgrade of infrastructure and equipping three hospitals and 10 health centres. Component two focuses on the digitalisation of our health centres and hospitals,” he said.

The programme manager pointed out that the focus areas for component one are St Catherine, Clarendon and St Ann.

“The three hospitals are Spanish Town Hospital, St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital and May Pen Hospital. The health centres that we are focusing on in St Catherine are St Jago Park, Greater Portmore and Old Harbour.  In Clarendon, we’re focusing on May Pen East, May Pen West and Mocho Health Centres and Chapelton Community Hospital; and in St Ann, it’s Brown’s Town, Ocho Rios and St Ann’s Bay Health Centres,” Clarke explained.

The HSSP aims to increase the capacity of selected health centres and hospitals to provide comprehensive health promotion, disease prevention and treatment to meet the specific needs of individuals in the community, through tailored infrastructure upgrades to facilities, linked information systems and developing standardised levels of care.

These actions should boost the island’s capacity to address the scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the challenge of communicable illnesses.

Clarke explained that the programme, which began with an initial investment of $50 million, through a loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was reassessed and found to require more funding.

“As of December 2023, the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank actually reformulated the loan and signed a new agreement for US$148 million. Of this amount the IDB will give us a loan of $50 million, the Government of Jamaica will be providing $87.4 million and the European Union will come on board to give us US$10 million,” he said.

The programme has also been extended from an original completion timeline of 2023 to the Financial Year 2028/2029.

— JIS

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