Lack of e-HMS causing hurdles to drug dispensing

Lack of e-HMS causing hurdles to drug dispensing
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Lack of a dedicated Electronic Health Management System (e-HMS) is rendering drug dispensing troublesome at public health institutions under Electronic Aushadhi (e-Aushadhi) in the State.

Warangal: Lack of a dedicated Electronic Health Management System (e-HMS) is rendering drug dispensing troublesome at public health institutions under Electronic Aushadhi (e-Aushadhi) in the State.

The State government has introduced e-HMS and e-Aushadhi online portals in Health, Medical and Family Welfare Department. The e-HMS incorporates an integrated computerised clinical information system for improved hospital administration and patient health care services.

It has functionalities of Integrated Hospital Management System covering patient administration services (PAS), clinical and diagnostic services, support services, personnel and financial management with a seamless integration with e-Aushadhi, which is Supply Chain Management (SCM) system.

It is aimed to equip all the primary health centres, community health centres and teaching hospitals in the State with e-HMS to create an online record of all transactions through generation of client registration number upon a patients’ arrival at the hospital’s registration counter.

A patients’ case data has to be fed into the portal before he/she goes to medicine dispensing counter (MDC), the last part of e-Aushadhi linked with e-HMS. But in reality, it doesn’t happen, pointed out Dr Rapolu Satyanarayana, the national coordinator of Working Group on Professional Dignity of Pharmacists.

The result is the pharmacists at the public health care institutions are compelled to play the double role, drug dispensing and creating records online of outpatient issues from MDC. The issue of medicines becomes tough due to poor internet connectivity, power problems and increased client turnout at PHCs.

There shall be a provision for offline issues to show the daily expenditure of drugs from MDC. Similarly, the government must appoint second pharmacist at all health care institutions to ease the burden on the pharmacists, he suggested.

National health programmes, heavy work load, non-availability of a responsible reliever have made the job of a pharmacist much stressful. Though the task of creating patient records is not part of the pharmacist job he is compelled to the work under coercion by higher authorities.

Pharmacist is a drug specialist and an important member in a healthcare team. But, they are often ill-treated and looked down as support staff. This humiliates the dignity of a pharmacist, he complained. Provision for offline issues from MDC under e-Aushadhi may make their task easy and reduces patients’ waiting time, which is one of the objectives in the introduction of e-HMS, Dr Satyanarayana opined.

It may be noted that at present e-HMS is implemented only at Koti Area Hospital and Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad, that too on pilot basis. More than 68 PHCs, two area hospitals, five community hospitals in erstwhile Warangal lack e-HMS system.

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