My First Experience of Digitizing the Health Sector

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My First Experience of Digitizing the Health Sector

I have been associated with the team of Health Informatics of Cogent Health Pvt. Ltd. for 9 months now. From the very beginning of my job, I have been working together with the technical team in implementing Cogent SISH (an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Hospital Information Management System (HIMS)) in various hospitals. However, I hadn’t been a part of a full-fledged EMR implementation until the project of NSI at Gulmi District Hospital. It is still fresh in my memories when Cogent SISH was officially inaugurated at Gulmi Hospital, Tamghas by Honourable Minister for Social Development Sudarshan Baral, Province no. 5 on 21st Magh, 2076. I believe that day holds much significance not just because it was an Inaugural ceremony but because EMR is still a new concept, especially in the governmental health sector and this day has marked the continuation of digitization in the health sector of Nepal.

Whoever said that “Success tastes sweet” has truly quoted this. I can still remember those mixed feelings of jittery and excitement during the whole ceremony, especially as Honorable Minister of Social Development of Province 5 Sudarshan Baral was very positive and had highly appreciated the EMR system. “With this, the successful implementation at Gulmi Hospital”, as said by him, “has also paved a way for implementing EMR by Cogent Health in other government hospitals as well”. I then realized that success is a long journey, and it took me to the flashbacks of the time when this journey all got started. The day when I knew I had been assigned to the Health Informatics team for EMR implementation at Gulmi, I was a tad bit nervous since I had to stay there for a month. But I was also filled with sheer joy for various reasons. First, because I had never been to Gulmi before and this destination would be added to my travel list, and second, because it was one of the NSI projects, and I’d supposed it to be huge. My excitement was fueled up when I came to know that I’d have to travel four districts (Dhading, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, and Palpa) to reach there.

Well, to describe more about the EMR implementation at Gulmi, it was specifically carried out in two phases. In Phase I, Networking and Hardware device setups were done along with the implementation in Registration and Billing, Laboratory and Indoor. The remaining departments including Pharmacy, Out-Patient Department (OPD), Emergency, Radiology, and Social Service Unit were carried out in Phase II. However, it was not as easy as I had imagined this project will be. All the staff who were assigned in this project had worked day and night, not to mention Saturdays and holidays too. The successful implementation was the output of the joint effort of the whole team (Technical, Health Informatics, Development, and Support) from the very first day and the whole hospital staff who were cooperative and enthusiastic enough to implement new technology and be the change-makers in terms of health digitization. According to the hospital staff, “The overall digitization has helped in systematizing the workflow of the hospital and has lightened the burden of carrying the OPD book in every visit for patients.


Aasara Shrestha

Health Informatics Associate, Cogent Health

February 10, 2020

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