As with anything that has many moving parts, healthcare data management is essential. Proper management of patient’s data allows health centers to have a rounded view of a patient’s health concerns. This makes for better service, communication, and results.
It is important to collect data efficiently and also process it. This is what makes it useful in practical terms. It is like crude oil. It has to be processed for it to be useful
Benefits of a proper healthcare data management system
Proper data management comes with a set of important benefits. Here are some of them:
- Collating and interpreting data from different sources guides the interactions of healthcare professionals with patients
- Helps to make informed business decisions
- It is necessary for tracking health trends and predicting future ones
- It helps to understand what your doctors are doing. And how their activities tie into the goal of your health center.
Types of healthcare data management systems
There are several obvious advantages to this, as can be observed. But then, adoption of this best practice is slow. Many healthcare practitioners are realizing the benefits, though, and this should be encouraged
Healthcare organizations typically manage their data using:
- Electronic Health Records (EHRs), and
- Health Care Risk Management (HCRM) systems.
- These can be used with existing management systems including Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)
EHRs are used to store patient’s data electronically. This allows physicians quick access to patient records. This makes it a lot easier for them to do their jobs. They can also make updates that are instantly sharable with anyone on the network.
Healthcare CRM helps health care centers to squeeze more value from data. They can measure, analyze, and report on data from EHRs, social media, and contact centers. These functionalities are accessible in one hub. HCRMs give a more rounded insight into patient lives, behaviors, and preferences.
Health tech in Nigeria
Nigeria has no centralized health management system. This is taking its toll on healthcare delivery in the country. Patient information cannot move electronically from hospital to hospital or updated. Patient records are hard to track down. It hobbles the entire system.
But there are companies that have been doing great work in this space for a while. One of those companies is helium health. They provide a range of health management solutions for health providers in Nigeria. Another company that is making strides in this emerging sector is intuitive global healthcare.
These are great first steps. But ultimately, a centralized system that connects all the health centers in the country is necessary. A unified system that any health practitioner can access at any time.
More work is necessary
According to a WHO report on human resources for health (HRH), Nigeria has one of the largest in Africa. But migration and poor data collection by has made this number ineffective in providing proper health care to citizens.
There is more that needs to be done. A centralized record of patients, practitioners, partners, and health care centers need to be created.
Until this happens, we may not be able to enjoy the high quality of health care that we can meet in this country. Which is a shame, we do have what it takes. We only need to coordinate all of our resources effectively. Oh, and we need more “tech” in our healthcare system.