Faster diagnosis at GPHC with telepathology project
The delivery of healthcare at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) will soon be improved with the implementation of a telepathology programme that will allow for faster diagnosis, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony has said.
Speaking at an event recently, Dr Anthony said the lengthy wait time for diagnosis at the hospital must be reduced and a project with Mount Sinai to use telepathology at the hospital.
Telepathology uses telecommunication to enable the electronic transmission of digital pathology images. With this programme, pathologists at the city hospital can send tests to worldwide facilities, therefore reducing the turnaround time for images and test results.
“Right now the turnaround time for pathology slides is probably about three months and that’s looking at the most optimistic scenario in the public sector; we have to change that. One of the projects that we are working on is telepathology and hopefully in another two to three months we can get that started at the GPHC,” the Health Minister said.
The project is important because this system would significantly reduce wait time for results, therefore making diagnosis and treatment options available sooner.
Meanwhile, the telemedicine programme will be expanded to more remote community health centres. By the end of June, some 20 more centres will be utilising the programme in Regions One, Eight, and Seven.
Similar to the telepathology programme, telemedicine allows community health workers based at health centres to access the expertise of doctors and other professionals in Georgetown through phones, laptops connected to the internet, and other electronic devices.
Further, the health sector is undergoing a massive transformation to include digital record keeping. Dr. Anthony announced that the legislation for an electronic data system for the health sector is also slated to be presented to the National Assembly. This system will have data saved on one system but accessible at all healthcare facilities, making access to patient information easier.
“It is a very comprehensive piece of legislation that will lay the legal foundation for the electronic health record system in the country,” Dr. Anthony said.