Gauteng’s digitisation of patient records to transform public healthcare

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) will revolutionise patient care in its public hospitals through the digitisation of paper-based patient records.

This ambitious initiative aims to enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare services across the province.

Transitioning 37 hospitals to eHealth system

By digitising patient files, the GDoH intends to transition its 37 public hospitals to a comprehensive eHealth system. The project targets the digitisation of at least 800 million patient records over the next three years, reflecting its significant expected impact.

The initiative is currently being piloted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital. Additionally, following successful implementation, the project will expand to other facilities. Utilising cloud technology, the eHealth system promises enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and secure storage of patient records.

Moreover, this centralised system will streamline access and management of medical information, fostering a more efficient and effective healthcare environment.

MEC highlights benefits of eHealth digitisation for Gauteng’s public healthcare

MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, highlighted the numerous benefits the eHealth digitisation solution will bring to Gauteng’s public healthcare system.

“Our hospitals stand to reduce operational costs associated with traditional paper-based record-keeping, eliminate time wasted on manual patient file searches and establish accurate records essential for legal and litigation purposes. The digitisation and back scanning of patient records will reinforce data security, ensuring seamless compliance with privacy and security regulations,” explained the MEC.

The project prioritises the preparation, cleaning, and organisation of records across four main hospital sections: patient administration, maternity services, chronic care management, and mental health services.

Furthermore, in patient administration, the eHealth system will streamline patient registration, appointment scheduling, and record management, reducing waiting times and improving patient experiences.

Also for maternity services, it will provide an integrated digital platform to manage prenatal and postnatal care, improving the health and safety of mothers and newborns.

Additionally, in chronic care management, the system will enable effective tracking and monitoring of patients with chronic illnesses, allowing for personalised care plans and better health outcomes. For mental health services, the project will establish a comprehensive digital framework that supports data management, patient monitoring, and coordinated care among mental health professionals.

Gauteng’s eHealth digitisation project creates jobs for 100 local youths

The eHealth digitisation project has also created employment opportunities, training and employing 100 young people from local communities. These individuals are responsible for scanning and capturing paper-based patient files and will be employed for the project’s duration.

In addition, this digitisation effort follows the successful implementation of the Health Information System (HIS), which introduced a one-patient-one-file system. The GDoH has already integrated three HIS modules—patient administration, billing, finance, and revenue—into all 37 hospitals and 33 Community Health Centres.

The clinical module is fully operational at Mamelodi Hospital and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.