I’m happy to share that HL7 Philippines is now official!
Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Alvin Marcelo, Dr. Gerry Manzo, Dr. Vic Caguioa, Dr. Myra Macalalag-Cruz, Louie Cruz and Doods Ventura.
The easy part is over. The journey towards making HIT standards work in the Philippines is just beginning.
I’ll keep everyone posted.
Several prominent Healthcare CIOs shared their insights about the past 10 years of pushing for Health IT.
Here’s just a short rundown of the insights:
- Interoperability headaches push some hospitals to abandon best-of-breed systems in exchange for enterprise systems.
- Government-backed incentive programs helps push for Health IT projects and investments in enterprises and clinical practices.
- IT in healthcare is now moving from just being an operations enabler to becoming more strategic for the business.
- Collaboration and interoperability are still important challenges for enterprises.
More insights are in the article. HIT people should read it.
Doctors always have a hard time multi-tasking: typing at the computer, thinking of the case, and working with the patient. This makes EMR adoption very challenging. And this is a common situation I encounter–and try to address!–with our EMR efforts. Having someone type for doctors actually might make sense and might actually improve EMR adoption.
Without much fanfare or planning, scribes have entered the scene in hundreds of clinics and emergency rooms. Physicians who use them say they feel liberated from the constant note-taking that modern electronic health records systems demand. Indeed, many of those doctors say that scribes have helped restore joy in the practice of medicine, which has been transformed — for good and for bad — by digital record-keeping.
What do you think?
This is great! I hope this is something we can emulate here in the Philippines.
The board certification is open to physicians of all specialties, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation in the clinical informatics field. Physicians can currently become eligible for the exam by demonstrating practical informatics experience. However, after five years, candidates for the subspecialty will need to complete an accredited clinical informatics fellowship with the Council on Graduate Medical Education.
Health IT professionals are in the business of disrupting the status quo!
Tools like these help make sense and provide insights:
Check out the graph, especially the context view.
- Blue is for Principles
- Orange is for Tactics
- Red is for Theories
- Green is for Case Studies
- Purple is for Practitioners
I’m not sure why this is even an issue.
Nurses are important stakeholders in the development, design and implementation of EMRs, especially in hospitals. I make it a point to have the Nursing IT Advisory Committee involved in any project that affects nursing workflows, processes and workloads.
Here are some practical lessons why they should be involved.
- They welcome changes that would make documentation easier and help them focus on patient care.
- They can be early adopters of electronic clinical documentation.
- They are the workforce of the hospital and their data output is huge!
- Their data output (vital sings, flow sheets, medication administration records, intake/output) are great candidates for multiple data representation, e.g. data grid, chronological view, trending graphs.
- They can hold the keys to physician engagement for clinical documentation and CPOE.
At The Medical City, we are working together with the nurses to help implement nursing documentation for our hospital EMR.
- How do you get nurses involved in your projects?
- Are they open to changes that might come with EMRs?
I got several emails (a few hours apart) asking the same series of questions about the state of HL7 in the Philippines. It’s for an assignment and they obviously found my blog for their research.
I am happy to share whatever I know so let me answer the questions in my blog.
What is the status of HL7 in the Philippines?
HL7 as a messaging protocol is being used by several Philippine hospitals. I am sure that St. Luke’s Medical Center (both QC and GC) and The Medical City use HL7 to integrate ancillary systems, e.g. Laboratory Information Systems, Radiology Information Systems, with Hospital Information Systems.
However, I’m sure there are other hospitals using HL7 for integration–though may not explicitly know about it. Some of the analyzer vendors I’ve worked with during integration projects were using HL7 in their interfaces but didn’t know anything about HL7 as a protocol, standard or organization. (That’s another story!)
There is also an ongoing multi-sectoral effort to get the Philippines affiliated with HL7.org. If this is successful, we’d have an official HL7 Philippines listed in this page: HL7 International Council. So far, the effort is doing well. We might have very positive news soon!
How will HL7 affect the healthcare industry in the future?
HL7 is the key to standards-driven healthcare interoperability. Interoperability and integration are the keys to improved IT-enabled clinical workflows.
What this all means is that if we plan to computerize clinical workflows, we need to integrate several health IT systems. These systems perform specific functions inside hospitals, e.g. ICU monitors, lab results, radiological images, and they should talk to each other. The way to talk to each other is via a messaging standard like HL7.
Better integration among systems can help improve adoption. Thus, if we do HL7 right, we might see more healthcare IT systems available in the market. This, in turn, will help lower costs of implementing clinical applications in hospitals.
What is the government’s stand on HL7?
The government is pro-HL7!
DOH is doing several multi-sectoral efforts to improve healthcare in the Philippines using Information and Communication Technologies. They are working on a national eHealth framework. Although implementation and technical details are still being developed with both public and private groups, HL7 will form part of the core standards to be implemented nationwide.
Check this links for more information about the DOH activities:
- Philippines eHealth Strategic Framework and Plan 2013-2017 (Version 3.0)
- AO 2013-0025 – National Implementation of Health Data Standards for eHealth Standardization and Interoperability (eHSI Release 001)
Thanks to everyone who emailed me. I hope this post helped.
Please email questions or post in the comments.
I’ll be giving a short Webinar about HL7 on September 9, 2013, Monday, 8pm.
Here’s the registration link to join: Webinar registration: Introduction to HL7.
Starting this month (June 2013), I won’t be CIO of The Medical City anymore. I will be redefining my scope of work for the hospital to focus on clinician engagement (MDs, RNs and other health staff) and clinical IT projects.
For over 2 years as TMC CIO, I worked only 3 days per week (Tuesdays to Thursdays). This was mainly due to my family commitments. It worked for some time, I guess. I was able to implement changes in our IT processes, projects and deliverables. But as the needs of the TMC network of hospitals and clinics continue to grow, so does the need for a full-time CIO. So we started a search for my replacement. And we are happy to have found a highly competent person for the job. He starts this month.
As for me, I will be staying on to focus on the long-term EMR development and implementation project. There is still so much more to be done.
I am excited to focus on these challenges–to work with clinicians, to improve workflows, to implement computerized medical records and to integrate IT systems.
Let the new chapter begin!
We are doing Round 3 of Nursing Informatics Training Program at The Medical City.
Target start date is July 1, 2013. Applicant interviews will start as soon as possible. Training program will take 14-16 weeks to complete depending on the projects assigned.
Projects may include:
- Nursing module
- Medication Treatment Record
- Vital Signs Monitoring Sheet
- Input/Output Monitoring
Interested nurses should review original post and submit their Letters of Interest (short essay on why they want to join) and CVs to mbmuin(at)medicalcity.com.ph. Letters of interest can be placed in the body of the email.