“Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has great potential towards improvement of delivery of healthcare services. India is committed to reforms in health service delivery using ICTunder Digital India Program of Government of India.” This was stated by J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare during his address at Global Digital Health Partnership Summit, at Canberra, Australia, today.The Union Health Minister spoke on the topic: Making Digital Health Services a Priority in Healthcare Reform.
Greg Hunt, Minister of Health, Australia, Mr. Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency,Ms. Glenys Beauchamp, Secretary, Department of Health, Australia along with delegates from Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and WHO were also present at the summit
Nadda stressed on the importance for building digital health ecosystem partnerships with private healthcare providers, academia, health IT practitioners, industry, patient groups and regulatory bodies. The Union Health Minister stated that adoption of Digital Technology for improvement of governance has always been central to polity of the Indian government. He further informed that there are four major areas where India has implemented Digital Technology in healthcare. “Towards improving health service delivery, towards improving compliance of people towards health & care, engaging citizens in partnering with government for planning and management of health services delivery and Improving governance”, Nadda added
Nadda also informed the participations that the Health Ministry has rolled out large scale IT systems in different areas of healthcare ecosystem such as integrated health surveillance program, public health management, hospital information system, supply chain management, online services, tele-medicine, programme monitoring and mHealth. “Such initiatives include systems for obtaining reliable information and near real-time data for policy making, ensuring efficient program and service delivery”, Nadda said.
Speaking about some of the initiatives of the Health Ministry, Nadda said that India’s National Health Portal provides authentic information related to healthcare to citizens. He further said that NHP is functioning as Citizen Portal for Healthcare, providing health-related information to citizens and stakeholders in different Indian languages. “Total web users for national health portal till date are over 2.6 Million and over 2.2 Million calls were made by citizens till date. Content of the portal is currently available in 6 Indian languages- and it is planned to add 6 more languages”, Nadda elaborated
The Union Health Minister further said that Hospital Information Systemis being implemented in hospitals for automation of hospital processes to achieve better efficiency and service delivery in public health facilities up toCommunity Health Centre level. “We have, e-Hospital- developed by National Informatics Centre which is implemented in more than 173 Hospitals and e-Sushrut– developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing Noida which is implemented in more than 80 hospitals. Online Registration System (ORS) is used for scheduling online appointments in public sector tertiary care hospitals. Around 139 hospitals are currently using ORS application. “Patient engagement in improving service delivery throughMyHospitalsystem which is usedfor collection of patient feedback on health services being rendered by public hospitals. The application is available in seven different languages and currently, more than 1067 hospitals, are covered in 23 States/UTs. So far more than 1.3 Million feedback have been received out of which 76% satisfied with the service, ShriNadda said. ShriNadda also informed the participants about the various mobile apps being used by the Health Ministry.
Reiterating the commitment of the government, the Health Minister said that our vision is to create integrated digital health platform and enable creation of electronic health record for 1.3 billion people of India. “We wish to enable hospitals and health service providers to do so by giving them free software systems and data storage facilities, in addition we wish to use big data analytics to prioritize our interventions and become proactive in solving healthcare challenges of our citizen,” ShriNadda stated.