Primary Health Care app launch with the South African National Dept of Health
The National Department of Health (NDoH) officially launched the mobile application of the Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) and Essential Medicines List (EML) for Primary Health Care Level in Pretoria on 25 November 2015. The mobile application was funded by the Department of Science and Technology, and developed by The Open Medicine Project, an organisation aimed at improving information access in healthcare by leveraging innovative mobile technology.
The STGs and EML is one of most cost-effective ways to deliver equitable access to affordable medicines that are safe, effective and improve the quality of patient care and clinical decision making.
The public and economic impact of the inefficient and irrational use of medicines is far-reaching. The launch of the mobile application of the STGs and EML for Primary Healthcare is seen as the first step toward the effective dissemination and implementation of the revised guidelines and promoting rational medicines use. “This is merely the dawn, not an event, as we embrace technology to leverage the potential of the STGs and EML”, said Mr Gavin Steel, Cluster Manager: Sector Wide Procurement, NDoH.
“The availability of the revised edition of the STGs and EML in mobile application format is intended to improve accessibility and acceptability to healthcare professionals at all levels of care. “The mobile APP leverages the capabilities of modern smart phone technology to facilitate efficient, point-of-care access to up-to-date medicine information”, said Dr Anban Pillay, Deputy Director-General: Health Regulations and Compliance Management, NDoH.
According to the Executive Director of the South African Medical Research Council, Dr Richard Gordon, “The launch of the Primary Health Care mobile APP is testament that investing in technology can change the ability to improve the delivery of health care.”
Features and Innovative Tools
The APP has been made available on most modern mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and iPads. The content is fully available offline after initial download, so that even in remote areas with poor or no connectivity, health care workers can have access to the information.
Features and Tools:
1. To promote transparency, the revised edition of the Primary Health Care STGs and EML is accompanied by the level of evidence which is now reflected in the mobile application.
2. The guidelines presented in mobile application format have been colour-coded for ease of understanding and interpretation.
3. One can click from one guideline and be taken directly to another related guideline.
4. Search function: A health care worker can simply type a key word or a key symptom and find a list of related guidelines. This will facilitate efficient access to correct information.
5. Cardiovascular Risk Assessment Tool: This tool allows healthcare workers to efficiently calculate a patient’s percentage risk of having a cardiovascular event such as a stroke or a heart attack in the next 10 years.
6. Paediatric Drug Dosage Calculator: This tool allows healthcare workers to accurately calculate the weight or age-based dosage for the most common medications on the EML. This would reduce errors in prescription and reduce frustration from healthcare professionals.
7. Medicine Stock-Out Tool: This tool allows users the ability to report medication shortage and stock-outs directly to the NDoH.
8. The Adverse Drug Reaction Tool: Allows healthcare workers to report serious reactions to medications. This tool opens up the line of communication between healthcare workers and the NDoH.
9. Medicine Cost: The cost calculator shows a comparative cost of all the medicines on the EML.
10. ICD10 Codes: The recording of medical diagnosis information according to the international ICD10 standard is becoming more and more important in health care management and will be requirement for National Health Insurance. This tool provides a searchable database of ICD10 codes.
11. Directory Service: The APP contains a directory service of all the health facilities in the country. It provides the phone numbers and GPS location of every public health facility in South Africa.
Download the app now, just search PHC in the google play or apple iTunes store.