The Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) is set to become a digitally inclusive unit, thanks to the Flow Foundation. On Friday April 8, the foundation delivered two Dell Chromebook laptops and two Wi-Fi routers that will help modernize the services offered by the hospital. The donation also included 10,000 sterile shoe covers.
KPH is the largest multi-disciplinary hospital in Jamaica and is also an integral training center for medical students wishing to enter the healthcare industry. Dr. Marsha Chong, a consultant in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, highlighted the importance of Flow Foundation’s technology upgrade for patient care and medical education.
“We are a teaching institution where we have residents in training programs, so with the devices and the laptops, they will have internet access and be able to research and read up-to-date articles,” Chong noted. “Doctors will also have access to patient records and patient results, as we plan to put our lab results online very soon.”
According to the Ministry of Health, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in online health care, with more than 8,000 Jamaicans seeking medical care through telecommunications technologies between March and May in 2020. The national trend and movement towards technology-enabled patient care highlighted the importance of this service to KPH. One of the first steps in modernizing patient care at KPH is digitizing hospital records so that patient information can be viewed quickly on an internet-enabled device.
“We now operate on paper, so if we have digital access to patient information, we will easily have the information at our fingertips, instead of physically storing it in the records area,” Dr. Chong explained. “If a patient comes to see us in the middle of the night, the record may not be readily available, but with digital access we will be able to treat the patient appropriately and in a timely manner.”
The Flow Foundation’s support of KPH’s digital orientation points to a tremendous area of opportunity for all of Jamaica: telemedicine. In October 2021, C&W Business Jamaica, Flow’s sister company, was contracted by the Department of Health and Welfare to improve healthcare delivery in the country through a managed services contract. Through the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Project, more than 100 health facilities will benefit from this $8.43 million initiative. At the signing of the contract, Flow Vice President and General Manager Stephen Price said, “As the technology backbone provider for ICT services across the country, we have the reach, breadth and depth to provide this kind of support and innovative solutions to improve the delivery of healthcare in Jamaica.
He further said the signing was also “a vote of confidence in our ability, skills, capabilities and resources to carry out this mission critical initiative of our nation. All of the projects and initiatives to date have been successful and we are delighted that the government, through the Department of Health and Wellness, is now leveraging the scale and expertise that we bring to initiatives of this nature, where managed services are required to support facilities. and establishments”.