SDG 3 aspires to achieve universal health coverage, I.e., all men and women have equal access to healthcare services. It recommends putting a stop to the avoidable deaths of newborns, as well as children under the age of five as well as epidemics. Unfortunately, it seems like Bangladesh is still playing catch-up when it comes to fulfilling the goals of SDG 3.
Having a first-hand experience of our limitations and mismanagement added a much needed perspective to my understanding of our healthcare system.
Last year, a patient was rushed into the emergency room of the Chittagong Medical College and Hospital with multi-organ failure. At that time, we had run multiple tests on the patient to diagnose his diseases which were delaying his treatment.
Although the patient had repeatedly done many tests to diagnose his disease, neither he nor the medical staff kept the record. On top of that, they frequently forget or lose the prior papers as well.
Due to a lack of documentation thousands of patients in Bangladesh do not get proper treatment on time and sometimes it leads to untimely and unavoidable deaths. The repeated tests are also a burden for the poor patients.
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) saves them and keeps them from having to go through the same tests over and over again. Moreover, for a critically ill patient, time is everything. Saving time with a single click is like saving a life. Without EHR, the physicians may postpone the beginning of treatment, resulting in suffering.
What is the Electronic Health Record (EHR)
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a digitally recorded, systematised collection of patient and population health information. An electronic medical record or EMR, on the other hand, is a medical record that is developed, maintained, and assigned to a specific healthcare organisation.
These records can be used in a variety of healthcare organisations.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) have the potential to build and maintain dedicated composite electronic patient data. EHR and EMR enables medical practitioners to attain a more holistic and long-term view of that person's health.
Digital documentation allows faster and more complete access as opposed to hard documents. In addition, EHR capacitates data interoperability between organisations as well as registered physicians and personnel from different health care organisations.
Both of these make healthcare more efficient and less costly. Creating a database for the whole population can play a crucial role in the health and research sectors. The platform will be able to digitise healthcare and offer accurate and relevant data for the country's public health reform.
There are several benefits to using the EHR systems. Firstly, these systems provide the opportunity to collect and manage clinical data in ways that might enhance preventative healthcare, long term illness management, and the economic health of primary care clinics.
Health Information Systems (HIS) also provides various routes for assessing employee performance, analysing patient care, and assessing organisation's efficiency and stability. HIS streamlines paperwork and automates all records.
Health is multifactorial. In many nations, the fast progress of information and communication technology (ICT) has resulted in significant changes in the health industry over the last decade. According to recent research, e-Health is an ICT blessing and is likely the most visible service that has a notable impact on the growth of the healthcare sector in poor nations.
The large patient load and shortage of human and ICT resources are some of the challenges faced by EHR systems in Bangladesh's public hospitals. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is working on a project to assess and establish a strategy for the implementation of HIS in Bangladesh, which involves the usage of EHR systems in Bangladeshi hospitals.
In developing countries like Bangladesh, e-Health offers great potential to assure care delivery, accessibility, and cost. And Bangladesh is definitely making tremendous progress in the role of digital technology in healthcare, particularly e-Health. The governmental and commercial sectors have both contributed to the development of the country's e-Health infrastructure.
The health system in Bangladesh is pluralistic. In developing countries, e-Health offers great potential to assure care delivery, accessibility, and cost. Bangladesh is making tremendous progress in the role of digital technology in healthcare, particularly e-Health. The governmental and commercial sectors have both contributed to the development of the country's e-Health infrastructure.
Timely information for strategic planning, these systems might save lives and limit the risk of antibiotic resistance. And this electronic-based system will be levelled to ensure patient safety. Different studies in the world among the developing countries illustrate that all standard components of an EMR record will be the key feature to achieve the national health goal.
In Bangladesh, the government has specific goals and plans for the improvement of the health industry. Each visiting data of an individual can be gathered electronically through the web browser, which may enable a more productive experience. An EMR is seen in a few of the corporate hospitals in the country.
Dr Md Faisal Kabir Rozars is in charge, Emergency & One Stop Emergency Care (OSEC) at Chittagong Medical College Hospital
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.