Pointing to rapid technological advances globally, Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, expects that the new Hospital Information Management Systems (HIMS) will transform the operations and service delivery of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

McDonald, who was giving an overview at the launch of the HIMS, said that the health sector was in need of a system that would revolutionise operations at hospitals islandwide. The HIMS will see the hospital moving away from the traditional paper system to an electronic medical system.

"The PAS-HIMS is currently in use in several large hospitals in the emerging Indian market and we were able to do interactive workshops to test the robust nature of the system. This included registration, billings, appointments, and nursing modules, radiology and laboratory interaction, HR (human resource) and pharmaceutical modules," said McDonald.


"The other advantage of the system was that long-term support as well as local, technical, and regional support is provided by the same vendor who maintains the system for the local medical insurance industry," he continued.

McDonald noted that the UHWI, in particular, is in need of mechanisms that will create better outputs and lift the standard of the institution.

He said that the UHWI has a deteriorating physical plant despite many attempts at refurbishing. This, along with the lack of a comprehensive electronic medical system, has resulted in suboptimal performance in research, long waiting times at appointments, lost records, inadequate reading and review of images, delays in billing and collections, and delays in production of medical records and medico-legal documents.

"This has negatively impacted research output, compromised patient care, and leads to an increase in customer dissatisfaction and complaints. Our lack of ability to track infections and follow real-time guidelines from institutions such as CDC/PAHO has impacted negatively on the hospital development and on teaching," said McDonald.