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New centralised database to roll out amid viral outbreak

LAHORE: The health authorities decided to upgrade the existing system by replicating the global model at a meeting recently held. The event was chaired by Health Secretary, retired Capt Muhammad Usman. Health experts from the UK also attended the meeting.

The officials announced that the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) has established a Centralized Database System (CDS), connecting Punjab’s all state-run hospitals to timely detect the scale of diseases to prevent outbreak.

The system will help collect and update data of patients visiting the public sector hospitals of the 36 districts to assess the extent of the diseases. It has been improved and upgraded to the extent that the availability and quality of data would provide an early warning system, as per Officials.

The officials highlighted that the CDS would enable the health department to generate emergency health alerts about possible epidemics before time, following the standard operating procedures of the World Health Organization (WHO). After the installation of this system, the administration would have sufficient time to control the diseases such as dengue, typhoid and influenza.

The department has derived the idea from the universally recognized District Health Information System (DHIS) for reporting, analysis and dissemination of data of more than 60 countries, Officials told.

Earlier, more than 29 dashboards were functioning for the same purpose without integrated mechanism, creating problems for the authorities to know the exact impact of the disease before reaching the epidemic proportion. The health authorities upgraded the existing system by replicating the global model.

“We were facing several problems in the absence of a centralized database system to help collect accurate information to prevent the outbreak of the diseases and ensure procurement of the medicines in required quantity,” said Mr Usman.

“We are also working to connect the CDS with the specialised healthcare department of Punjab and other departments of the federal and provincial governments,” said Muhammad Usman.

This system, he said, would also help analyze other health-related issues besides monitoring and evaluation of various programs. He said the integration would remove fragmentation and redundancies to give a concise and balanced picture from available data sources.

“The wide range of data collection solutions is based on Web, mobile and SMS technology,” the health secretary said.

Answering a question, he said the Health Information Service Delivery Unit (HISDU) of the health department was already working efficiently to compile human resource data. Recently, the HISDU had helped find out more than 1,500 ghost and ‘dubious’ employees across the province, he said.

-MN Report

January 27, 2020

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