Record keeping goes digital at Scarborough General Hospital

Going through handwritten medical records on the Maternity Ward of the Scarborough General Hospital (SGH) to analyze data will soon be a thing of the past with SIP Plus.  Thanks to PAHO/WHO, training was provided recently for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals on the new perinatal information system which takes medical record-keeping to the next level with data being entered electronically from the get-go.

Dr. Victor Wheeler, Acting Medical Chief of Staff of the SGH, who led the local delegation, welcomed the visit by PAHO/WHO representatives and highlighted the positive impact that the training will have on clients.

“SIP Plus will allow us to standardize the care of clients and reduce the amount of time that it takes for clients to obtain their medical records,  We will also be able to analyze the data instantly to identify, for example, trends in care, high-risk conditions or any issues affecting a segment of the population.  Over the next few months the software will also be rolled out throughout the TRHA’s network of Health Centres.  All of this is being done with the support of PAHO/WHO and we are very grateful to them,” said Dr. Wheeler.

Ms. Izola Garcia, Consultant for PAHO/WHO Trinidad & Tobago, said it was a hallmark moment to work with the TRHA on training on the perinatal information system.

“Tobago has already been part of a pilot with respect to capturing complete maternal and neonatal data across healthcare institutions and we are now expanding from the pilot to full implementation.  The new system allows you to be able to produce data on mother and baby at the click of a button to be used for auditing, care and management of expectant mothers and their babies as well as for research, measuring improvements over time and policy and decision-making,” said Ms. Garcia.

Dr. Jose Luis Diaz Rossello from the Centre for Perinatology and Women’s Reproductive Health (CLAP/WR), who conducted the training session said that PAHO/WHO developed technology that brings the recording of medical data into the 21st century.  He described the advancement as outstanding.

“This new system allows us to go to any antenatal clinic of a hospital and enter the data on a patient electronically in a format that is filed and can be retrieved at any time, at any level of care.  Even a doctor in the street would be able, once authorized, to retrieve this information to assist a pregnant woman requiring care.  We are witnessing great advancements here in Tobago with this system,” stated Dr. Rossello.

PAHO/WHO representative for Trinidad and Tobago and the Kingdom of the Dutch Islands, Dr. Erica Wheeler, expressed delight that Tobago had taken SIP Plus on board. 

“We are very happy that Tobago has taken this on board and embraced it.  We are looking forward to what is going to happen here because we want to use Trinidad and Tobago as an example for the rest of the Caribbean.  The Minister of Health, Dr. Terrence Deyalsingh and Dr. Adesh Sirjusingh, Director of Women’s Health in the Ministry of Health have been championing this and we want to see T&T assist other Caribbean countries to implement this system,” added Dr. E. Wheeler.

Having medical records in digital format will greatly enhance the operations of the Maternity Ward of the SGH and increase the level of efficiency and effectiveness, which all redound to the benefit of clients of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA).  SIP Plus will be available to every country within the Region and is being offered by PAHO/WHO free of charge.  The training exercise was followed by a tour of the SGH Maternity Ward.

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