By Fredrick Obura
The Government is in a contract with Techno Brain, a local Business Processing Outsourcing company to digitise over 40 million health records at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
In a project billed to improve access and fight bureaucracy in health records retrieval, the State awarded Techno Brain and COSEKE, a local IT company, a tender to digitise 10 per cent of the records.
“This is the first contract we are winning from the Government and is a sign that it is interested in growing local Business Processing Outsourcing companies,” said Lakshman Manickam, Director Operations and Human Resource, Techno Brain.
“Previously most of these tenders were awarded to foreign companies in Asia and other known outsourcing destinations, a factor which has stagnated growth in the industry,” he said.
In this first phase, four million records in the Ear, Nose and Throat clinics at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the country’s largest referral hospital, will be in digital format come September. The records account for 10 per cent of a total 40 million records at the hospital in need of digitisation.
“In the next five years it will be possible for a patient to get their information through a click of a button,” said Dr Henry Kioko, Assistant Deputy Director, and Clinical Services at KNH. The Director noted that the pilot project will give key lessons not only in digitising the remainder of the records, but act as an example to county hospitals around Kenya.
With a bed capacity of 1,800, 520,000 outpatients and 70,000 inpatients every year, manual processes have proved to be inefficient, difficult to measure, and prone to human error at KNH.
The project is funded by the Rockefeller foundation, through a grant of $400,000, (about Sh35 million) as part of the Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment (Pride) initiative. The initiative promotes the field of impact sourcing, through creation of employment to many jobless youths.
Locally it is partnering with Digital Divide Data, an outsourcing company that has created over 150 jobs to community from Mathare Slums.