TN govt to digitise pharmacies



12 Feb 2009, 0000 hrs IST, T K Rohit, TNN

CHENNAI: Along with the digitisation of patient records at all government hospitals in the state, the government also plans to adopt the same
process in pharmacies as well. The system will also update the stock of medicines immediately.

The Rs 35 crore project, funded by the World Bank, is part of a Rs 550 crore project being implemented by the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP), led by project director S Vijayakumar. A pilot project is already running in five hospitals for almost two years - in Tambaram, Colachel , Padmanabhapuram, Sholingur and Sriperumbudur.

"The first phase of implementing HMIS will begin in about four months. By the end of the year, all the 270 secondary level government hospitals will be connected," PWC Dawidar , state IT secretary, told TOI. Once the system is stabilized, the state may even do away with manual registers.

The HMIS application consists of two parts - a Health Management System (HMS), which encompasses patient services, and the Health Management Information System (HMIS), which will cover the collection of data.

HMIS will collate data on trends in diseases on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis, which would help decision-makers frame suitable policies to address these issues. "This will help us understand morbidity and epidemiology patterns," Vijayakumar said.

Dawidar said the pilot project had helped them sort out major challenges like problems of connectivity, power and even keeping the application simple for the hospital staff to use. "The large amount of data the hospitals will be dealing with will not be an issue, as we have enough capacity," he said.

Tata Consultancy Services has developed the software, while the IT department and Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu will help provide connectivity and overall support for the project.