SmartCare aids in data capture at COVID-19 Isolation Centres in Zambia

Ever wondered how the Ministry of Health is able to keep on top of the COVID 19 pandemic; knowing how many patients there are countrywide, knowing their health histories and quickly apply relevant treatment protocols?

It is with the assistance of an electronic health record called SmartCare that was developed and deployed by the Zambia Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many other implementing partners. Before the introduction of SmartCare, health care workers had to physically collect information on patients at health facilities, now it is at the click of a mouse and patient information is readily available.

With the onset of the Coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, the MOH in collaboration CDC through the IDeAS project team deployed SmartCare in the four institutions that were set up to be COVID- 19 patient isolations sites. The four health facilities set up as isolation centres are Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and Courtyard Hotel (both in Lusaka province), Masaiti District Hospital (Copperbelt province) and Chinsali General Hospital (Muchinga province)

Over 152 healthcare workers in these facilities were trained by the IDeAS training team on how to use SmartCare. Another 17 staff from the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHL) were trained in a programme called CommCare, a surveillance tool used in the management of COVID-19 cases.

IDeAS staff praised the synergy created during these training programmes with the Provincial IP ICT, District, Provincial and MOH staff.

This is the second news article-> Over 1,000 healthcare facilities go live

1,256 Zambian healthcare facilities are actively using the electronic health record system called SmartCare to collect and manage patient information. This is out of a total 2,700 healthcare facilities in the whole country.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) approved the use of SmartCare as its Electronic Health Records (EHR) system in 2016 and since then has been diligently and gradually adapting to its use.

This represents 47% of Zambian healthcare facilities currently managing patient records electronically.

All this was made possible through a five-year CDC funded project called Integrated Decision Analytics Support (IDeAS). It is implemented by the BroadReach consortium of which the Institute of Health Measurement-Southern Africa (IHM Southern Africa) is a part.

SmartCare involves the following clinical services; HIV Testing and Counseling, Adult and Paediatric HIV care, Tuberculosis , Antenatal Care (ANC), Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), Delivery and Postnatal, general Out Patients Department, Family Planning and Under Five Pharmacy.

As part of this collaboration, IHM has been mandated to ensure that SmartCare is deployed, maintained and functional in all healthcare facilities that meet the criteria in Zambia.

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