Unique health IDs may remain a distant dream
It could have been of great help to patients and doctors at state-run medical institutions but the state is now considering scrapping its ambitious Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) project.mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2010 01:04 IST
It could have been of great help to patients and doctors at state-run medical institutions but the state is now considering scrapping its ambitious Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) project.
The Rs 270-crore project, aimed at integrating medical data of 33 state-run medical colleges and hospitals, was to be completed by November.
The most crucial feature of the HMIS was a unique health identity card for patients that would make their data accessible across all state hospitals at the click of the mouse.
The state has spent at least Rs 12 crore on the project but is disappointed. The project has been implemented at only nine medical institutions, instead of 33, because of technical problems.
In many cases, for instance, modules containing medical prescriptions and medical stocks were not linked.
Doctors prescribed medicines without knowing whether they were available with the hospital.
“The results have not been as per expectations and the progress too has been very slow. I will soon call a meeting and decide [whether to go ahead with the project or scrap it],” Vijay Kumar Gavit, state minister for medical education, told Hindustan Times.
The project was conceptualised in 2002 and its execution began in August 2006. It was to be first implemented as a pilot project in Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital at Byculla.
“The pilot was to be completed by September 2007 and implemented at other medical colleges and hospitals only after the deans of both these institutions had approved it,” said an official from the state’s health department, requesting anonymity.
The project received criticism from various medical experts, who found it unrealistic.
Dr Pravin Shingare, then dean of J J Hospital, did not approve the pilot project and was transferred in 2008. Shingare did not answer his phone despite several attempts.
The Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital formally approved the pilot project later and the state government extended it to other medical institutions.
“It’s true that the dean did not approve the Pilot Implementation Committee’s findings. He had opposed the implementation of the project because the pilot had not been implemented in the entire hospital,” Gavit said.
The state government later found that the pilot project had been implemented only at a few departments in the hospital.
“This does not give a clear picture of its feasibility,” said Gavit. “We may institute an inquiry now.”