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New system 'causing delays'at Natalspruit hospital

The newly built Natalspruit Hospital in Ekurhuleni is experiencing technical glitches, with the paperless electronic system raising fears that the wellbeing of patients could be compromised.
 
The provincial health department downplayed the seriousness of the matter raised by the DA MPL Jack Bloom, who said the hospital management needed to improve soon so that patients could get decent care without lengthy delays.
 
"This is a major flaw that I had hoped would be fixed after my previous visit in October last year when hospital management said it was a teething problem. It seems that staff have still not been trained to use the electronic system, so it slows things down instead of speeding it up. There have also been a spate of staff resignations because of the pressure of patient numbers." Mr Bloom said.
 
He said that during his visit, patients complained about the inconvenience of having to re-register on the system at every consultation.
 
Provincial health spokesman Prince Hamnca defended the system, which he said had only minimal disruptions.
 
"Natalspruit Hospital personnel, who have undergone electronic-system (Medicom) training, have been trained according to department’s information-technology (IT) directorate required standards. And to ensure there are minimal malfunctions to the new system, IT project managers are onsite at the new hospital to monitor the system and to offer training where necessary." Mr Hamnca said.
 
He said the training of medical doctors was an ongoing process. "How quickly hospital queues move differs from day to day and it also depends on the busyness of the facility."
 
He insisted that the facility was sufficiently staffed. However, he did not address the claims that hospital staff were resigning due to the failing system.
 
"Hospital Management noticed that due to the design of the new facility, more personnel is required. So a process to increase staff is under way." he said.
 
Additional reporting by Kingdom Mabuza

Source URL: http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/health/2015/01/08/new-system-causing-delays-at-natalspruit-hospital

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