A new Health Management Information System (HMIS) is helping public hospitals in Kirinyaga County address the issue of drug shortage by providing real-time information on stock.
The system, which has been piloted at the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital, will ensure medical facilities have an adequate supply of medicine around the clock.
County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Health Gladys Kimingi says the Health Management Information System (HMIS) has helped improve decision-making on drug supplies in all medical facilities in the county.
“Unlike in the past where we could wait for respective health facility managers to send us reports of drug stocks, we are now able to get real-time information on the same, so we will know which drug needs to be replenished and for which facility,” Kimingi said.
HMIS is a data collection system specifically designed to support planning, management, and decision-making in health facilities and organizations.
Speaking at the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital, Kimingi said, “The collected data is used for planning, budgeting, and evaluation of services provision.”
“Evidence-based decision making is critically important for the appropriate use of scarce resources like drugs particularly when resources are limited,” she added.
Kimingi said pharmacists in all medical facilities have been trained on how to use the system and one has to log in using personal passwords to dispense any drug.
“This system is only operated by authorized staff, each has a password and no medicine can be dispensed at the dispensary, health center, the hospital body, or even our main store without going through the system,” she added.
The system is being rolled out in all service points in the medical facilities to complete the patients’ treatment chain.
“We are in the process of rolling out the system in all the service points, we have completed piloting it in our pharmacy and it is working very well,” the CeC said.
However, the health minister clarified that not all drugs would be found in all medical facilities.
“It’s good for the public to know that drugs are stocked as to the level of hospital, there those medicines which will be found in a dispensary and those that can only be found in level four, five or six hospitals and that is why we have referrals,” said Kimingi.
With the system now in place, Governor Anne Waiguru has assured residents of adequate drug supply.
Waiguru said her administration has supplied all the medical facilities with enough drugs and “no one should be told to buy drugs outside the facility.”
We want to tell our people that our hospitals have an adequate supply of drugs and no one should tell you otherwise or send you to buy drugs from outside,” the governor said.
By Irungu Mwangi