The Ministry of Health is preparing to launch an integrated health information system which will connect all public health care institutions and allow clinicians qualified access to critical patient data.

Health Minister John Boyce, speaking at the welcome ceremony for new doctors hosted by the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners last Saturday, said the Barbados Health Information System would be officially launched on November 30.

He said: ???Our national health information system will see us implement a one patient, one record, integrated and comprehensive health information system. Our belief is that with better information, better decisions can be made, leading to better health outcomes.???

The Health Minister told the audience that up until now, health data had been fragmented and this impacted the Ministry???s ability to perform comprehensive analysis and derive meaningful, evidence-based conclusions.

With the new system, data will be managed on a single platform shared, in the first phase, across all public health facilities, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, polyclinics, public pharmacies, the geriatric hospitals and laboratories.

Mr. Boyce said he will be chairing talks with representatives from private health care institutions before month-end to discuss how that sector can benefit from the new system with secure, patient-controlled information being shared between public and private health care organisations.

The Health Minister stressed that the implementation of this system was expected to significantly improve patient care and eventually reduce the overall cost of health care.

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