Poor communication worsens quality healthcare delivery, says expert
The role of information in healthcare management can never be over emphasised as it proposes a better avenue to plan, budget, distribute, map out resources and above all deploy necessary infrastructure in the sector.
The principal, School of Health Information Management (SHIM) at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Taiwo Olofinluyi, in his reaction said that information is crucial in healthcare development so as to access the level of care given to patients and the community.
He lamented that as far as Nigeria is concerned that we are still left behind and that there is a lip service on the part of government in data generation and data management unlike what is obtainable in other climes.
Olofinluyi continued: “In the advanced countries there is data bank where anybody can just tap into information about morbidity, mortality or anything. You do not really need to go to any hospital or ministry. From the data bank you can get the information required. But in Nigeria it is not like that, there is doubt in information, there is doubt in data, we are still far behind.”
On salvaging the menace, the Principal said: “The issue is that at every level of healthcare, there should be data centres aside from the fact that there must be adequate health information resources generation and data manipulation. There should be a sort of data centre where you can tap into and know what goes on within a particular community and state as well, particularly with some of the notifiable diseases such as Diabetes, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Except you have specialised centres data are generated for purposes of managing people living with such cases. Nigeria will still remain as it is.”
He added: “What am advocating for, is that there should be a data centre where people can go and get information and there should also be a linkage system from the primary to secondary and tertiary so that whatever is obtained in the primary you can link it up and it can be accessed from any part of the country.”
For viability of this course, Olofinluyi said that there should be sufficient awareness. Giving out information you need to create awareness so that, for example people living with diabetes, Some of them do not even know not until they get to the hospital but if there is sufficient awareness people can know the causes of diabetics and once the symptoms are seen they can go to the nearest diabetics centre where they can report their cases and then data can collated and forwarded to the appropriate quarters.
Olofinluyi also said the school do create a special event for the purposes of creating awareness and they partner with professionals and supply the needed information at that level with regards to information management has been exploited.
To the government he said that they should develop appropriate code for disseminating of information to the grassroots as their own is to supply the needed information.
His words: “The government should show adequate interest in information management because whatever we do, we need information relating to the area of specialty. Government should make it a great priority in information management particularly information that have to do with life and they must deploy sufficient fund through budget to be able to fund the process.”