Health clinics in Quezon City are now ready to use the Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (SHINE) of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) to maximize access to health service resources and provide better care for tuberculosis (TB) patients.
In simple ceremonies held recently at Brgy. Doña Imelda, Kalayaan Health Center, Quezon City, local government officials, medical health officers and program partners kicked off the service launch for the project, pioneering the automation of Quezon City’s health system.
Smart, in partnership with the Quezon City local government, the Center for Health Development – Metro Manila, and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) through the TB LINC Project (Linking Initiatives and Networking to Control Tuberculosis) is implementing SHINE initially in the 10 health centers of the city’s Legislative District 4 and in the city’s major hospitals for the fight against TB in Quezon City.
To date, all health centers in District 4 are connected to the Internet with health workers using computers provided through the efforts of City Councilor Raquel Malangen.
Since November last year, Smart, CHD-NCR, QCHD and TB LINC has trained 49 medical officers, nurses and midwives from these health centers and from three of the city’s major TB catchment hospitals which include Lung Center of the Philippines, Quezon City General Hospital and East Avenue Medical Center. Trainings included Basic ICT and use of SHINE system.
The program partners plan to widen the number of hospitals to be included in the project to 12 this year. The other hospitals include Philippine Orthopedic Center, University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Hospital, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, V. Luna General Hospital, Novaliches General Hospital and the Philippine Society for Tuberculosis, Inc. (PTSI) clinic in Quezon Institute Hospital.
Project SHINE is the flagship mobile health initiative of Smart under its corporate citizenship program Kabalikat that aims to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare facilities through the innovative use of mobile and ICT technologies.
Through the SHINE platform, health care facilities are given access to an electronic information management system that accommodates the registration of patients, recording of consultations, filling up and sending of referral, acknowledgement and feedback forms, search for a healthcare specialist or facility, reports generation for governance, setting of appointments as well as the sending of text message notifications and reminders to the patient. All these features can be used for TB cases.
Because it is cloud-based, SHINE can be accessed by healthcare personnel and organizations anywhere via the Web and/or a mobile phone. With SHINE, healthcare organizations can improve information exchange, enhance patient care continuity and end the costly, time-consuming and error-prone chore of faxing, photocopying and filing paper referral documents.
TB is an infectious disease caused by the “tubercle bacilli” bacteria which affect the lungs but may also attack any part of the body like the bones, intestines, and kidneys. As many as 75 Filipinos die of the disease every day, making TB the 6th leading cause of death among Filipinos. In Quezon City, the disease reportedly ranks eighth among the 10 leading causes of illness.
During the Memorandum of Agreement Signing held in late October 2011, Mayor Herbert Bautista said that Quezon City’s participation in the project will enable the local government to provide better service to the residents of the city, as well as improve governance.
The implementation of SHINE in Quezon City is part of the of the technical assistance of TB LINC, a 6-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to Quezon City to improve access to comprehensive quality TB care. PBSP is the prime contractor of the TB LINC project and the principal recipient of the Global Fund TB Grant of the Philippines.
Under the agreement, Smart will oversee the implementation of SHINE, including the training of health workers with basic PC skills and use of the SHINE system. Smart will also provide free internet connection for six (6) months as well as 20 mobile phones to front liners/provider-users in the 10 health centers of Quezon City’s Legislative District 4. The telco will also provide free one-year Internet connectivity to the major TB catchment hospitals. The use of the SHINE system is free for one year.
SHINE was launched earlier in July last year with its initial implementation in the Province and City of Iloilo.