Embrace ICT in record management, Minister urges health record officers

Hon. Minister of Sate for Health Dr.Osagie Ehanire

ABUJA (Health Ministry’ Report)- The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has called on Record Officers across the country to embrace the use of Information Communication Technology in record management as their role is indispensable to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.

The Minister made this call in Abuja, at the 2017 Annual National Conference/Workshop of Association of Health Records Practitioners of Nigeria (AHRPN).

He explained that the theme of the Conference: ‘’The Role of Health Records Practitioners in Repositioning Primary Health Care Delivery System in Nigeria’’ was apt noting that the workshop would not just appraise known functions of health records Practitioners-Collection, Collation, Analysis, Storage and Presentation of health data, but also strive to add value by laying the structure for healthcare planning and resource allocation in the healthcare sector.

He said, “your role as practitioners in this sector is therefore critical in our nation’s effort to rebuild the healthcare system”.
He noted that increasing demand for detailed and reliable data, achieving health records management manually has become a daunting task adding that they should avail themselves of digital health information technology revolution which has no doubt changed health records management practice.

In his words:  ‘’As there is clearly no alternative to embracing technology, I shall be looking forward to seeing health records managers at various levels of the health delivery system striving to ensure that Electronic Medical Records Software Solutions(EMRSS) are deployed at their facilities, to migrate from paper based health records keeping to electronic health records management’’.

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Binta Bello Adamu, who was represented by her Senior Technical Assistant, Dr. Saidu Ahmed said that healthcare  facilities across the country must imbibe the ‘’Change begins with me mantra’’ by ensuring that health records departments are restructured, better equipped and well positioned to face the enormous and crucial challenges of health data administration and management.

To this end, she said that the Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria must collaborate with Healthcare facilities and agencies to encourage and ensure the conversion from paper-based to paper-less records through the deployment of Electronic Health Records (EHR) so as to guarantee data integrity and to make the process of data and records retrieval easy for both patients and service providers.

Earlier, in his remarks, Alh. Ibrahim Muhammad Mami, the Registrar/CEO Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria (HRORRBN), expressed worry that inter-professional rivalry in the health sector has adversely affected healthcare delivery in the country, adding that all health professionals should close ranks and work as a team to deliver quality healthcare services to Nigerians.

While bemoaning that there is no scheme of service for health record officers in the Civil Service, he called on the National Assembly to fast track the revision of the act that established the association to pave way for their placement in the Scheme of Service.