Services at the MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital in Sylhet are set to become digital within the next year, with the implementation of the Hospital Health Management Automation System.
Osmani hospital will be the country's first "digital hospital" after the system is implemented.
State minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak told the media on Tuesday that the biggest hospital in the Sylhet region will have 100 percent digital service by 2021.
The Tk4.5 crore system, when implemented, will enable hospitals to maintain a database of every patient who receives healthcare services at the facility.
Osmani hospital, which is Sylhet Division's main healthcare centre, has 900 beds, but around 1,500 patients are admitted there every day, on average. At least another 2,000 patients also get treated at the hospital's Outdoor Patient facility daily.
Osmani hospital gets a large number of patients every day, but it lacks adequate manpower – including doctors – to deal with the influx. This hampers healthcare services at the hospital.
A representative of the hospital told The Business Standard that the Bangladesh Computer Council is implementing a project titled "Digital Sylhet City" to turn it into a smart city.
The Hospital Health Management Automation System will be installed at the MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital under this project. This will allow the hospital to keep an e-health record of every admitted patient in a database.
The hospital further revealed that the system will not only handle patient information management, but also clinical management, account management and supply chain management. The new system will help curb irregularities at the facility.
A telemedicine service will also be launched so that anyone will be able to get healthcare advice on the phone.
Responding to a query, the hospital's Deputy Director Dr Himanshu Lal Roy said, "The hospital will maintain a record of every patient who has been treated there at least once. The database will have records of a patient's medical conditions, prescribed medicine and examinations.
"If a patient returns to the hospital for further treatment, the database will show the person's medical history. This, in turn, will make it easier for a doctor to provide accurate treatment to patients."
Dr Himanshu further said, "Several teachers from the Computer Science & Engineering Department of the Shahjalal University of Science & Technology are preparing a project paper for the implementation of the automation project at Osmani Hospital.
"The paper is in the process of being finalised. Work on the project might begin next June. State minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak is supervising the project."
The state minister took part in a discussion held at the Osmani hospital on March 10 on launching the automation project.
At the event, Palak said, "Osmani hospital will be the first government hospital in the country to get an automation system. If it is implemented successfully here, the system will be launched in other hospitals across Bangladesh.
"The automation system will bring a revolutionary change to the country's government provided healthcare services, much like that in developed countries."