Wednesday, March 28, 2007

PharmaCIT possibilities in Rural Centres

We have all come to terms that Information Technology has come here to stay. Applications are wide and vast. Cities are fast getting linked-up on this information super-highway. Exchange of information has become at the speed of a "click-of-the-mouse".

With these foregoings, Pharmacy practice in Nigeria has not really benefited from this free flow of information.

Key in this aspect is the introduction of Pharmacy, Computer and Information Technology (PharmaCIT) in the Rural communities.

Healthcare practitioners, and Pharmacists in particular are to have unrestricted access to Drug information and methods of Pharmacy practices across the globe; current trends; new developments; new products & practices; better treatment alternatives; new re-formulations, newer ways of doing old things; rapidly advancing technologies, and lots more.

This will go a long way in equipping the pharmacist with the best available information to effectively and efficiently execute his duties. The Pharmacist in the rural hospitals can manage the basic health information technology (HIT), hence help in preventing medication errors. improving medication safety and quality patient care.

Most rural and community hospitals lack the resources to obtain basic health information technology to assist with improving quality care and patient safety that are often available in advance countries.

In essence, the funds have to be sourced to provide the equipment needed for the basic HIT programme. These hospitals could be funded by Govt healthcare allocations, NHIS (health insurance) or via International partnership.

Funding should be able to provide the structure, training and equipment. Others are Internet access, maintenance & repairs, power-supply, software & hardware requirements, etc.

Once this can be functional implemented on the community level, it will be easy to replicate in urban centres. Precedence has shown that it is usually difficult to start a project from the urban regions, then effectively transfer or integrate same in the rural communities. As soon as the lifestyle pattern, with emphasis on health is made attractive in the rural communities, the urban-drift will reduce substantially.

For healthcare delivery to improve in the rural areas, information technology, PharmaCIT, is the way forward.

Best Regards.


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