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Nakuru County automates laboratory information systems

Nakuru County Government has contracted ELSMED Healthcare Solutions to automate its laboratory information and inventory management systems to ensure data security.

The County Executive Committee Member for Health, Ms. Jacqueline Osoro, said the devolved unit was exploring a system whose key features will be workflow and data tracking, flexible architecture, data exchange interfaces, data mining, data analysis, and an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN).

Ms  Osoro indicated that ELSMED Healthcare Solutions will collaborate with Siemens in the project, adding that effective laboratory information and inventory management systems would facilitate easy record keeping, tracking, and reporting, thus eliminating the risks of human error and improving the overall turnaround time.

According to the CECM, the cutting-edge technology will revolutionize the county diagnostic systems by allowing for more precise and comprehensive analysis of samples.

This, she added, will lead to more accurate diagnoses and better patient outcomes while reducing the time and resources required for testing.

“We are envisaging a platform that will be a solution that works fast and facilitates seamless communication between scientists, businesses, laboratories, and the public,” said Ms Osoro.

The system is also expected to greatly reduce the need for manual data input, mitigating the risk of human error, in order to streamline workflows and significantly improve turnaround times.

Speaking after a meeting that was convened to discuss the implementation of the project, Ms Osoro said Governor Susan Kihika’s administration would, through public-private partnerships, upgrade diagnostic equipment at all the public health facilities across the county.

The CECM observed that Governor Kihika had prioritized the improvement of health facilities to ensure access to affordable and quality medical services for the people of Nakuru.

She added that the upgrading of old and the building of new sub-county hospitals will save residents the trouble of traveling to the county referral hospital in Nakuru for services such as surgical procedures.

The meeting was attended by ELSMED Healthcare Solutions Chief Executive Officer Mr Yaren Farachi, Acting County Secretary and Head of Public Service, Dr. Samuel Mwaura, County Attorney Mr Caleb Nyamwange, Chief Officer for Medical Services, Dr John Murima, and Chief Officer for Public Health Ms Alice Abuki.

Ms Osoro stated that the devolved unit’s administration was exploring several strategic partnerships to provide residents with convenient and subsidized access to medical consultations through telemedicine.

The CECM said the partnership with ElsMed Healthcare was intended to roll out a telemedicine system where care managers will take patients through preliminary assessments and assign them to a doctor for a consultation session.

She said the county leadership was keen on telemedicine systems where, if a prescription is required, one will be issued by the doctor and sent directly to one of the various partnering pharmacies.

With mental health becoming an increasing and rising concern, Ms Osoro observed that telemedicine systems should incorporate teams of counselors to assist patients experiencing acute stress and anxiety, and these should also be accessed via telephone.

“The integration of online and offline healthcare means that our doctors should be able to deliver seamless consultations, just as they would in person,” stated the CECM.

The proposed partnership with ElsMed Healthcare, Ms Osoro indicated, included building up a new mother-baby training simulation centre meant to reduce adverse maternal outcomes during childbirth.

According to the CECM, plans were in the pipeline to build and equip specialized hypertension and diabetes clinics to serve not only patients from Nakuru but up to nine neighbouring counties.

By Esther Mwangi and Merceline Khaemba

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