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‘Digital ways to ward off COVID-19’

The Department of Health, academe and private sector have been vouching for digital solutions to boost the country’s healthcare system and effectively manage COVID- 19 cases, including information on the adverse impact of vaccines.

Speaking at the launch of the BluePrint.PH Data Newsroom Series titled: “Data Governance: Innovations and Collaborations in Response to the Pandemic,” Dr. Alethea De Guzman, DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director cited the importance of digital revolution and strong data governance to respond to the current health crisis.

She noted that a strong data governance will facilitate efficient management of COVID-19 cases, and strengthen linkages between the national and local government units in addressing all Covid-related concerns.

“Digital innovations and solutions minimize processing of time of data, minimize errors, while the electronic medical records can provide data on vaccines, and the adverse events following immunization,” said De Guzman.

De Guzman said a unified data dashboard of Covid-19 provides health experts more time to interpret data, and come up with timely and relevant analysis.

According to De Guzman, data quality issues due to varying epidemiology and surveillance across all levels was one of the challenges being faced by DOH following the emergence of the coronavirus. She recalled they were even criticized due to the poor data quality of the information they’re sharing.

Manelle Cousart-Suyat, Industry Marketing  Head for Healthcare of Globe Business said public and private hospitals will benefit from the digital solutions and innovations by lowering cost of business and medical operations, and providing efficient and quality healthcare to patients, also at a lower cost.She said digital solutions will also provide ease of work for doctors, nurses and medical staff.

These digital tools, Suyaf said, will ease patients and staffs’ hospital processing journey by lessening the forms to fillout using integrated suite, for keeping medical records updated and secured through the Hospital Information System and cybersecurity, and digital payment availability.

She said Globe Business also offers a modular and digital system specifically made for hospitals that automates administrative, financial, and logistical processes through a secured platform.

Dr. Erwin Alampay, of UP-NationalCollege of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) Dr. Alampay said open and big data analytics can provide real-time situation analysis, contact tracing and early timely diagnosis for early containment.

He said this can also help secure public trust in the government through better transparency and improved communication, and counter misinformation.

Big data analytics, supports the government in identifying and addressing needs of vulnerable groups by gathering disintegrated data.

De Guzman said data transparency work hand in hand with data privacy of individual patients. She guaranteed the DOH ensures credibility of data.

“Whatever data we release everyday, we stand by them, we don’t alter, we don’t manipulate.”She said digitalization of Covid-19 data should not compromise the rights of the public to data privacy,” she further stated.

“Data transparency doesn’t mean we will reveal information on the identities of patients,” said De Guzman adding that, “these are people we are talking about,  each number represents someone, a family, a friend, a loved one and we don’t want to reveal very personal and sensitive information.

Topics: Department of Health , DOH , digital solutions , healthcare system , COVID- 19 , Dr. Alethea De Guzman
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