XON, one of South Africa's fastest-growing ICT groups, has partnered with German-based dynaBS to expand its range of health information systems. dynaBS Health is a hospital information system that complements XON's existing DataCare clinic information system.
"dynaBS Health is a complete and integrated software solution that covers all managerial, documentation and communication requirements for hospitals and clinics, and enables them to deliver more effective patient care," says Deon Kruger, director of XON Health Solutions.
XON will resell, support and maintain dynaBS Health in South Africa through its offices in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and target over 800 South African government hospitals and primary healthcare clinics on the back of successful tenders through the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).
Several local private hospitals have either already implemented or are investigating hospital information systems to improve service and efficiencies, reduce costs and allow them to reallocate resources.
dynaBS Health is an ERP solution based on Microsoft Dynamics AX that helps to centralise monitoring of healthcare organisations. Besides the standard ERP functionality such as financial accounting, controlling, purchases, stock, maintenance, and quality control, it also embeds all of the administration functions of a healthcare organisation.
These budgetary and controlling processes consolidate information to expose hospital costs, such as structural costs, wages, purchases, stock levels and consumption, and allow administrators to properly control activities while appropriately managing the finances through a profitability analysis by patient.
The solution traces events linked to patients, such as pre-admission, admission, consultations, risk management, inter-service transfers, biology analysis, medical acts, prescriptions, treatments, check out and post hospitalisation care. It also includes, in realtime, imaging, biology analysis, and post-procedural monitoring information in patient files and monitors overall service quality using notifications, key performance indicators and business intelligence (BI).
"dyanBS has 16 modules that cover every aspect of hospital administration, and we can implement the system on a modular basis and still get significant, immediate benefits with a full rollout taking place over an extended period of time to give hospitals the full facility," says Kruger.
"Healthcare delivery has come under the global spotlight, with most countries accepting that improved healthcare delivery requires electronic patient records to cope with the huge volume of necessary data," says John Gurnett, MD of dynaBS in the UK. "The UK government, for example, has invested $12-billion to achieve just that.
"dynaBS Health was developed to help administrators provide more effective and efficient care and to optimise healthcare programmes by providing necessary information to provincial and national healthcare systems."
Barbara Hogan, newly appointed South African minister of health, has already stated that South Africa's healthcare system requires change and that it must be brought "back on track".
Doctors are among those in short supply. According to a report by the Democratic Alliance, KwaZulu-Natal was hard hit by the shortage in 2007 and the provincial health department was doing all it could to deal with problems at hospitals.
"One of the key problems that hospitals face is that paper-based systems are rife with inefficiencies that put pressure on scarce resources," says Gurnett. "South African hospitals need to get the most value from the resources they do have and not bog people down in paper-based systems.
"Management plays a big factor in the costs associated with healthcare," adds Gurnett. "The resources must be managed, including medicines, facilities, and equipment, and if properly done then hospitals can save between 10% and 15%."
The less paper doctors and healthcare workers have to deal with, the smoother and faster the process of giving care to patients. Electronic information also reduces the risks that patients face.