Philippines to integrate open-source electronic medical record platform for enhanced health programs
According to an announcement by the Ateneo de Manila University (ATENEO), the Philippine Department of Health Region VII is integrating the SHINE OS+ electronic medical record system of Smart Communications and Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) with its existing reporting tool to enhance the region's health programs.
Integration of SHINE OS+ with its existing reporting tool will help enhance the Department of Health Region VII’s health programs. Central Visayas, or Region VII of the Philippines, is made up of four provinces, which are Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. Some of the health programs that the Department of Health Regional Office VII is focusing on include the control and elimination of human rabies and leprosy by 2020.
Launched in 2011, SHINE OS+ stands for Secured Health Information Network Exchange open-source system. It allows health units to submit aggregated medical data directly to the region’s Health Console in order to retrieve information on a timely manner.
SHINE OS+ functions as an electronic medical record (EMR) platform leveraging on open-sourced technologies, allowing other systems to enable data sharing or data exchange for interoperability. It provides local government units as well as other public and private health service providers, free access and use of its SaaS (online version) and community edition (offline). For those in the field, a mobile version was also created in order to address the issue of mobility and convenience.
Depending on the availability of data connection, the mobile app can synchronise its data on the cloud or temporarily store data on the device until connection is made available.
The problem of manually sifting through records, which is both taxing and time-consuming, being experienced by rural hospitals in the region, can now be solved. Without it, patients have to wait until their records are retrieved before a doctor can see them. Damage caused by disasters and calamities also poses a threat to paper documents. Not to mention, indecipherable handwriting that may lead to misdiagnosis.
A simple click of SHINE OS+ also allows for patients to be referred to health facilities that are more equipped to handle their case. The hospitals can now receive an advance notice that a patient referred to them is on the way. Through an SMS sent to them, the patients will be reminded of their medication and appointments. Several doctors from different parts of the country can retrieve information on a patient with a push of a button.
The digitisation of health records will allow policy makers develop more appropriate health programs. It would aid them in creating health programs on a per region basis since they will be able to pinpoint the cases and diseases that are most common in a specific area.
SHINE OS+ has garnered awards locally and internationally. The Public Relations Society of the Philippines recognised it with a Silver Anvil at the Anvil Awards. It received a Merit Award from the International Association of Business Communication-Philippines during the Philippine Quill Awards. It also won in the healthcare category of the Golden World Awards by the International Public Relations Association.
The signing of the memorandum of agreement between SHINE OS+ and the Department of Health Regional Office VII was attended by Regional Health Director Dr Jaime Bernadas and the representatives of the developers of the aforementioned application.