Public clinics in the City of Joburg will today ditch paper-based patient forms and documents in favour of a digital system designed to transform service operations.

As Joburg Mayor, Parks Tau promised in his State of the City Address last month, patient records at fifteen clinics in Soweto will go live on the digital system.

The system was announced last year at an ehealth conference, when the city said it plans to have all patient records at clinics and hospitals completely digitised and hosted on a streamlined system by next year, at a cost of R300 million.

Its aim is to improve turnaround times, services, record keeping and overall patient care, by ensuring that no matter which hospital or clinic a patient is admitted to, health care workers will be able to easily access their records.

Patients’ records will be accessed via a biometric system which will record and unlock their details using fingerprints.

The city said it has put strict security measures and firewalls to prevent unauthorised access to records and ensure confidentiality.

Ongoing training sessions are being held with health professionals to use the digital system.

Mayor Tau will be at the Jabavu Clinic this afternoon to attend the launch.

“The introduction of an electronic health system using biometrics will revolutionise the health status of people living in Johannesburg. We are using technology to leap frog into the future,” said Joburg MMC for Health and Social Development and Social Development, Nonceba Molwele.

The ehealth system will be expanded to 81 primary health care facilities across the city in the coming months.

Jozi Digital Ambassadors will be deployed at clinics to assist patients to connect to the city’s free WiFi and utilise the eHealth system via the Maru A Jozi portal.

[Source – Jozi Digital Ambassadors, image – City of Joburg]