Expert emphasises need for vigilance in Nigeria’s Digital healthcare transformation

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Abuja,

Dr Richardson Ajayi, a Health Entrepreneur/ Executive Vice Chairman, Bridge Clinic, has stressed the need for vigilance in the Nigeria digital healthcare transformation, to ensure its reality.

Ajayi who stressed the need on Wednesday in an interview with Abuja365 in Abuja, said that the call for vigilance had become imperative.

He said this was because Nigeria had reached a pivotal moment in her healthcare system, and the government’s ambitious vision for a digitalised system was gaining momentum.

He said that the recent announcement by the Nigerian government of a groundbreaking plan to revolutionise the country’s healthcare system by embracing digitalisation and increasing funding for research was an ambitious initiative.

He said the initiative was aimed at enhancing the quality of healthcare services and improving overall patient outcomes.

According to him, the vision promises to revolutionise healthcare delivery, offering improved access to quality care and raising the overall health and well-being of the nation’s citizens.

“With proper implementation, the country has the potential to transform its healthcare system, provide better access to quality care and improve the overall health and well-being of the citizens.

One of the key components of the plan is the implementation of a Data-Driven Approach.

“By harmonising information and utilising data analytics, policymakers will be able to make informed decisions regarding health policies and identify areas that require improvement.

“This approach will be crucial in ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently and effectively.

“Another significant aspect of the plan is the establishment of a National Electronic Medical Record.”

He explained that the government initiative would aim to bring all Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) and hospitals under one unified platform, promoting better coordination and reducing redundancies.

He added that if government implemented its vision for the sector, the centralised system would enable healthcare providers to access patient records seamlessly, leading to improved efficiency and continuity of care.

The entrepreneur further said that he was aware that the government had committed to increasing funding for research in the healthcare sector.

He said that the investment would help fuel indigenous research efforts, promote self-sufficiency in the pharmaceutical industry and elevate the country’s profile in the global healthcare arena.

“By prioritising research, the government hopes to develop innovative solutions and advance medical knowledge, ultimately benefiting the Nigerian population.

“However, the plan is not without its challenges. One major concern is cybersecurity. With the digitalisation of healthcare systems, protecting sensitive patient data becomes paramount.

“The government must therefore prioritise cybersecurity measures to ensure the privacy and security of individuals’ health information,” he said.

He added that adequate training of healthcare personnel was crucial to navigating the digital landscape successfully.

“Healthcare professionals need to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to utilise digital tools effectively and efficiently.

“Training programmes and continuous education will be essential in preparing healthcare workers for this digital transformation,” he said.

Abuja365 reports that the Nigerian government had said it would digitalise the country’s healthcare system to achieve better health outcomes.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa, while speaking at a news conference on the ministry’s agenda for the sector, had said that digitalising the health system would help facilitate accurate data to improve activities in the sector.

Alausa said the health system required accurate and valid data that could be trusted locally and internationally.

“We need to begin to make sure that the data we collect are accurate, and they are validated; they can be trusted, internationally and locally and can be used to deliver care to our people,” he said.

“And then once you have validated data that you can trust, you can begin to see the indices where you are getting better, where you are doing well, and where you are not doing well.

“Then you can recheck your interventions to improve that outcome,” the minister had said. 

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