South Africa HIV hospital deploys TrakCare system


South Africa HIV hospital deploys TrakCare system

Warwick Ashford

A hospital in South Africa is rolling out a web-based healthcare system already in use in the UK and 24 other countries to improve the quality of care in its HIV/AIDS treatment centre to an increasing number of patients.

The TrakCare system, which is already used at more than 30 sites in the UK, has enabled the Sinikithemba Centre at McCord Hospital in Durban to store all patient data in a single repository to enable staff to track and manage anti-retroviral treatment plans for the average of 150 patients it cares for each day.

"The system alerts us when patients miss treatments, which enables us to follow up immediately to improve care and ensure vital adherence to medication," said Helga Holst, medical superintendent of McCord Hospital.

The system is being used to record the clinical condition of patients and any side effects from their treatment. This enables the centre to monitor progress, make easy comparisons between patients and generate analysis reports using the database, which is being shared with regional and international HIV/AIDS researchers as well as medical students at Harvard University in the US.

McCord Hospital plans to adopt a similar implementation model to the one in use in the UK by rolling out the TrakCare system from TrakHealth in the next year to manage administrative and clinical activities in all departments.

Bill Mackie, regional director for TrakHealth in the UK, said, "The Priory Healthcare Group is running the system in its 27 hospital throughout the UK on a central system to provide access to a comprehensive electronic patient record."

In the past year, authorities in channel island Guernsey have signed a contract with TrakHealth to create an integrated care record system that covers social care, community care, ambulatory and acute care, and that can be accessed from anywhere via the internet.

McCord Hospital chose TrakCare because it provided a customisable HIV treatment module as well as the storage capacity and analysis functionality the Sinikithemba centre needed.

TrakCare can now be integrated with the rest of the hospital because it is built on top of the Ensemble platform from Intersystems, which owns the TrakHealth subsidiary.

"The Ensemble base gives the system flexibility and enables medical institutions to customise it to their needs and use one or more of its modules without replacing existing systems," said Mackie.

He said Scotland's Lothian Health Board was able to deploy TrakCare without replacing its recently upgraded clinical laboratory system as a result of the built in integration technology from Intersystems.

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