HUKM Develops Own Total Hospital Information System (Bernama)
|December 31, 2007 18:44 PM|
HUKM Develops Own Total Hospital Information System
By Mohd Arshi Daud
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) — Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) is developing its own Total Hospital Information System (THIS), the first by a government hospital in Malaysia and possibly in Asia.
Built up from scratch entirely by its staff, the hospital’s THIS initiative has already attracted interest from distributors keen to market the system to both government and private hospitals in the country.
THIS costs million of ringgit to implement but the market for such a system in Malaysia is huge, given that there are over 100 public hospitals and a large number of private hospitals.
In addition, the HUKM-developed THIS, called Caring Hospital Enterprise System (C-HEtS), is expected to be cheaper than similar systems available in the market.
“HUKM is still looking at the business model on how to go about providing C-HEtS to others,” said Dr Ahmad Taufik Jamil, head of HUKM’s information technology (IT) department.
“For example, one government specialist hospital spent more than RM50 million for its total hospital information system. We have so far spent only about 10 million,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.
Dr Taufik said the huge savings was a result of HUKM itself holding the copyright for C-HEtS (created 100 percent in-house) and the system was developed using a free software from US-based software firm Oracle Corp.
“It’s free. The tool is JDeveloper 10g, which is based on Java technology under Java 2 Enterprise Edition,” he said.
Dr Taufik, who holds a BSc (Medicine), MD (Doctor of Medicine), M.Sc (IT), and MPH (Master of Public Health) majoring in hospital management, is leading a team of about 80 people in the project, with half of them technical and IT personnel and the rest comprising C-HEtS users like doctors and nurses.
Work on the C-HEtS started in 2004 and in the 2006-2007 period, HUKM adopted the first phase of the system for all its patients.
A total of 2,000 HUKM staff, comprising admission clerks, nurses and doctors, are utilising the system.
Phase one involves patient registration, emergency department, admission, discharge and transfer, appointment and scheduling, operating theatre scheduling, medical record management, user profile, case-mix, statistics and full patient accounting system.
The patient accounting system will be implemented on January 1, 2008, Dr Taufik said.
Under the second phase scheduled in 2009, HUKM will develop the CPOE (Computerised Physician Order Entry) and undertake integration using HL7 (Health Level 7) and DICOM (digital imaging and communication on medicine.
Phase three in 2010 will involves clinical documentation and electronic medical record while phase four in 2012 will cover research and case-based learning modules as well as other modules.
Though other hospitals are using THIS with similar applications, most are sourced from foreign software companies. These include systems by Cerner of the United States for Hospital Selayang, India’s Medicom for Hospital Serdang, Sungai Buloh, Ampang, and Kompakar for Hospital Putrajaya.
Despite the host of applications that C-HEtS offers, total cost for all the four phases is expected to amount to less than RM20 million.
“This figure also includes spending for filmless environment worth RM3 million,” Dr Taufik said.
He said that he was motivated to come up with C-HEtS following frustrations when using THIS sourced from external suppliers.
According to him, these include high maintenance cost, long period to get feedback on request for changes in the system, and poor support from vendors.
“We develop C-HEtS as an easy-to-maintain system that is able to respond faster to change requests, can be customised according to user requirements, and a database that can be easily manipulated and used for making research. All these are at zero maintenance cost as we only need to pay staff salaries,” Dr Taufik said.
“In addition, C-HEts can be interfaced or integrated with other available systems as it uses de facto standards like HL7 and DICOM,” he said.
As C-HEtS meets international integration standards and uses English for user interface, Dr Taufiq said it has the potential to be marketed overseas.
“But it’s too early to say when this can happen,” he said.