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AIS makes digitalisation push in wider Caribbean

DIRECTOR OF Health Applications at Advanced Integrated Systems (AIS), Shekar Sanumpudi, indicates that the company is targeting a growing healthcare technology market within the wider Caribbean.

Already, the company’s Provider Access System (PAS) is being used by the National Insurance Board (NIB) in The Bahamas and its Medical Practice Management System (PASMD) is in four of that country’s health centres.

The company is currently in negotiation for the digitalisation of other public health centres to use the Medical Practice Management System and is also negotiating the digitalisation of one hospital in The Bahamas.

In Guyana, negotiations are under way for digitalisation of public health centres and a hospital, while in Trinidad AIS is currently in negotiation for the use of provider access systems for insurance processing.

One other project being negotiated is for the use of AIS Caribbean Drug Codes (CDC) in Barbados, and discussions are also under way for the use of PAS for insurance processing.

Sanumpudi, quoting, states that the global healthcare IT market in terms of revenue was estimated to be worth US$39.6 billion in 2022.

It is expected to reach US$924.5 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.8 per cent from 2020 to 2027.

The market growth, as outlined, is being driven by the adoption of e-prescribing, telehealth, and other health IT solutions.

In Jamaica, Sanumpudi said steps have been taken to digitise some hospitals and health centres, but added that there needs to be wider adoption of e-prescription and telemedicine.

He asserted: “Jamaica is in a good position to integrate technology into healthcare with positive benefits. All the components for a complete digital healthcare ecosystem are available locally. The University Hospital of the West Indies has gone fully digital.”

The University hospital has been digitised by AIS to include multipoint registration; appointment management; outpatient billing; ADT (admissions, discharge, and transfer); bed management; billing (cash billing/insurance billing/package billing); insurance submission workflow; discharge summary; operating theatre (billing); a radiology information system; front office; general stores inventory management; procurement; billing centric clinical workflow; pharmacy – outpatient; pharmacy – inpatient; and reporting.

Other processes and systems digitised at the UHWI were security and software administration; online portal and mobile modules; biomedical equipment/asset maintenance; a management information system; finance integration; digital signage; operating theatre; documentation management system; Provider Access System (PAS) and PACS reporting, among others.

Jamaica Defence Force

In 2019, AIS signed a contract with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) at Up Park Camp. Areas digitised include electronic prescription access; inventory management; refund generation; receipt generation; prescription entry; prescription refill; medication history; label printing; purchase order generation (creation, approval, cancellation); submission of bills to accounts; monitoring of stock/inventory; unique electronic medical records; online appointment and scheduling; electronic prescriptions and centralised administration/multiple facility management among other processes.

The company has also provided digital Provider Access System (PAS) for private health insurance companies Sagicor, Guardian and Canopy, which altogether have 1.3 million cardholders.

For the National Health Fund (NHF), AIS has put in place – for Drug Serv and other pharmacies – its Pharmacy Information Management System (PIMS), which facilitates full pharmacy management and is installed in 150 locations across the island. For the NHF, it has also installed a Provider Access System (PAS), which is the online, real time health insurance processing software included in all participating pharmacies as well.

AIS also facilitates coordination of benefits to include the NHF card, JADEP, GOJ card and private insurance cards (Sagicor, Guardian and Canopy).

Project costs were not shared. However, Sanumpudi said: “Health technology can be beneficial in many respects, including increased efficiencies and lower costs, improvement in the quality of care, and a major improvement in overall population health and wellness.”

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