Smart Cards Introduced By UCH To Ease Patients’ Care, Payment

Smart Cards Introduced By UCH To Ease Patients’ Care, Payment

Professor Temitope Alonge
Professor Temitope Alonge of UCH...very much concerned about indigent patients that come to the number one tertiary health institution in Nigeria...

In order to digitalize patients’ records at the hospital, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan said it is introducing a smart card to ease patients care and monotony of payment at its payment points.

The institution’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Temitope Alonge said the card being introduced in partnership with Wema Bank, will also cut off duplication of payments and reduce waiting time in accessing care at the hospital.

Professor Alonge, who said the hospital’s digitalising is almost completed, said the card will also serve as patient’s means of identification and for payment, adding that the cards are to make the hospital more patient-friendly by reducing waiting time, ensure patient confidentiality and ease of service delivery.

According to him, “Now this card actually cuts off a lot of wastage of time from payment for services since some service areas will delay investigations because of payment.

“This combo card, because it is a combination card of both a chip and a health information card, is actually the first step in digitising the hospital’s information management system and capturing all the patients’ information on our server.

“We can then go to the next stage which is actually the clinic consultations, where it will be possible to download the patient’s information as captured in the records department, and with the appropriate software clerk the patients, indicating the appropriate treatments, including asking for tests, without the patient going with any form to the investigation point.”

Professor Alonge, who remarked that the hospital’s geriatric centre, had gone paperless in its services, but only keep cases notes as backups, said the cards to cut down on wastages and pilferage at the hospital will become operational this June.

Mr Sunday Olaitan, Wema Bank’s South West, Regional executive, said the card has unique features, with security features encrypted into it.

Olaitan, describing the bank as technology savvy, said the smart card was part of the bank’s effort to ensure technology can be adapted to impart positively patients’ care at the hospital.

The card which can be used to transact business, even when there is no internet connectivity, he declared also affords opportunities for money transfer from one card to the other through the POS.

UCH’s head of Medical Health records, Mr Adebayo Oluwatoki, said the card will assist greatly since patients do not have to carry large sums of money to the hospital, adding that in the next six months the hospital would have finished uploading the medical data of its more than eight million patients.