Design And Implementation Of Patients Records Tracking System
This is an online computerized system whose main aim is to aid in automating the process of capturing, storing and retrieval of patient’s medical records and have those records available at any other site (hospital) that has subscribed to the framework.
It is also aimed at enabling doctors and records managers keep track of patient medical records regardless of the hospital they attend and to enable them make good informed decisions regarding their patients based on their medical history.
Through this system, patient records are saved in a professional way and space for storing the physical files is significantly reduced.
The records are also stored remotely in a secure place away from the actual physical hospital where they are prone to various types of damages. From this remote location, anyone in need of the records can access them provided they have the right credentials, they have been authenticated by the system and they have the required authorization.
1.1. Project Overview
This project is based on the Ngong Sub-District Hospital and JKUAT-Karen Hospital model.
With the growth of the health care industry in Kenya and the growth of population, more and more medical facilities are coming up at various levels – National, Regional, County, District, etc.
While some of these facilities might be fully equipped with all the required facilities, others are not fully equipped to handle all the medical issues that may be presented to them. This brings a need for patients to move from one hospital to another in order to seek better medical services. Others just end up being referred to these bigger hospitals that can handle more complicated medical cases.
Not all patients have the capabilities to maintain their personal medical records regarding all the medical institutions that they have attended in their lifetime, what they were diagnosed with or the medication they were given. Some of these records might be stolen, lost, misplaced, damaged or tampered with. All this information is important to the doctor who might want to use the medical history of the patient to make informed and better decisions on future diagnosis of these patients.
It is therefore imperative to have a system in place to maintain these records on behalf of the patients and be available to the doctors regardless of where the patient chooses to seek medical services. This is what the Patient Records Tracking System does/accomplishes. It provides a framework that hospitals follow when storing the records then collects all the data in one central database from which doctors and other authorized personnel can access the patient records.
1.2. The Statement of the Problem
Most Hospitals still use the old manual way of storing patients medical records by using hard copy files stored in cabinets and locked in some particular room.
This poses a number of challenges namely:
- There are no back-up copies for the files and therefore a misfortune like a fire disaster could set the hospital back in terms of the records and activities that have taken place over the time it has been in operation.
- There isn’t enough storage space for storing old files since the number of patients who visit the hospital is growing at a high rate day by day.
- Misfiling sometimes occurs whereby a file is placed at the wrong place which makes it hard to locate the file the next time you want to access it.
- Some patients share identification numbers and this poses a challenge when it comes to filling the files.
- There is no way of tracking records of a patient who has visited several hospitals prior to arriving at the current hospital he/she is seeking medical services.
- Controlled access to the files is not limited whereby there isn’t much security limiting the number of people who can access the files since people working in hospitals normally work in shifts.
- Difficulty in access whereby it takes a considerable amount of time to access a particular file.
- Patients moving from hospital to hospital, especially the elderly, may have a hard time recalling their medical history in order to aid the doctors in making correct diagnosis.
1.3. The Proposed Solution
- The proposed Patients Records Tracking System will take care of these challenges by automating the activities of managing the records and storing the records in a central database.
- By use of a computerized system that will have a well-designed user interface and a database in the back-end, the records will be able to be entered, stored, updated and retrieved in a professional way.
- Authorized personnel will be able to track patients’ medical details to be able to make better diagnosis based on the patient’s medical history.
- Backing up of the data and storing it safely away will be possible.
- There will be controlled access of the records.
- There will also be remote access to the system.
- The system will also be in line with the Kenyan Vision 2030 of integrating ICT in our places of work.
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