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New Hospital Information System improves patient management

New Hospital Information System improves patient management

CAYHILL-A New Hospital Information System is in the process of being implemented at the St. Maarten Medical Center, making it the first hospital in the Caribbean region that will be using a full digitalized hospital system that covers patient medical information, a patient education module designed to educate their clients about their illnesses and a patient billing information system.


On December 1st, nine medical departments, including the patient wards, emergency room, operating room and the diagnostic and endoscopy departments started using the new HIS. Ancillary services such as the admissions department, Kitchen and dietician, Hygiene, social services and physical therapy are also being digitized. Using efficient mobile care-carts, nursing staff, working directly at the patient’s bedside, can input nurses’ notes and view patient exam results and history. Mobile care-carts are designed with an all in one computer, a battery backup for at least 5 hours in use and a scanning device.


By March 2015, this user-friendly system will include doctors’ notes and physician appointment scheduling. Additional patient services i.e. St. Maarten laboratory Services and Cay Hill Pharmacy will also be incorporated in the final stages.


The hospital system is powered by Computer Programs and Systems Inc. (CPSI), a software company based in Mobile, Alabama. With more than 600 clients in the USA, CPSI furnishes a fully integrated system specifically designed for small to medium hospitals. SMMC is its first international client. 


Prior to the first phase of implementation, CPSI technicians visited the SMMC whereby employees received first hand training. This training continued with live support from CPSI technicians for the first three weeks as the staff became familiarized with the new system.


Kees Klarenbeek stated, “The overall transition has been smooth thus far. There were some challenges on the emergency room due to the learning curve of the users and the particular challenge in registering each new patient in the system. However, once a patient is registered in the system, the data will always be available. Based on the progress seen thus far, we expect that the transition will continue to go smoothly. The staff is enthusiastic to make this system work well in the hospital and we are proud of their efforts.”


This new HIS is beneficial to the patient population and the SMMC in many ways. One benefit is the ability to effectively monitor patients’ medical history on line without searching through a physical file and a patient’s registered allergic reaction can be taken into account when prescribing new medications.


Statistical data will also improve as more information can be registered about each patient.  This gives the SMMC the opportunity to generate more public health data about the island’s patient population.


An updated HIS has been recommended for the institution since 1996. The previous system, Siemens, was no longer reliable and was nearing a system failure. Another main reason for the introduction of this new system was to enable cost reduction.  Compared to Siemens, CPSI allows for better tracing of services given to the patient. This eliminates hidden fees and loss of payments due to incomplete billing. As such, the system is proving to help lower costs and give a return on investment within two to five years. The system will also reduce administrative costs. This saving in overhead costs will allow for more medical investments in the hospital.


 “We are happy to see the reality of a long needed upgrade to the way we manage patient care. This is in the best interest of the patient population. We are proud of using modern and advance technology to better serve the patients in our community” says director Kees Klarenbeek.

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