Data governance to address COVID-19 pushed
MANILA, Philippines — Representatives from the Department of Health (DOH), the academe, and the private sector are pushing for digital solutions to improve the country’s healthcare system, manage COVID-19 cases, and list information on adverse effects of vaccines.
Dr. Alethea De Guzman, OIC-Director of the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau, noted that strong data governance will facilitate more efficient management of COVID-19 cases and will improve linkages between the national and local government units in managing cases.
“Digital innovations and solutions minimize processing time of data, minimize errors, while the electronic medical records can provide data on vaccines, and the adverse events following immunization,” De Guzman said at the launch of the BluePrint.PH Data Newsroom Series titled Data Governance: Innovations and Collaborations in Response to the Pandemic on Wednesday.
She stressed that a unified data dashboard provides health experts more time to interpret data and come up with timely and relevant analyses.
Meanwhile, Manelle Cousart-Suyat, Industry Marketing Head for Healthcare of Globe Business, said public and private hospitals will benefit from digital solutions and innovations through a lower cost of business and medical operations.
She said digital solutions will ease the workload of doctors, nurses, and medical staff who deal with manual paper processes that result in outdated records, missing files and unaccounted billings.
“These digital tools will ease patients’ and staffs’ hospital processing journey by lessening the forms to fill out using the integrated suite, for keeping medical records updated and secured through the Hospital Information System and cybersecurity, and digital payment availability,” said Suyat, who was also guest at the Data Newsroom Series of BluePrint.PH.
Globe Business currently offers a modular and digital system specifically made for hospitals that automate administrative, financial, and logistical processes through a secured platform.
“This frees up so much resources, time or otherwise, to focus on providing quality care,” Suyat noted.
For his part, Dr. Erwin Alampay of the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance said that open and big data analytics can provide real-time situation analysis, contact tracing, and early diagnosis for early containment of COVID-19.
“Open and big data analytics in responding to COVID-19 can help in securing public trust in government through better transparency and improved communication, and counter misinformation,” Alampay said.
However, De Guzman noted that data transparency works hand in hand with the privacy of patients, as he assured the credibility of data being released by the DOH.
“Whatever data we release every day, we stand by them, we don’t alter, we don’t manipulate,” the health official said as she pointed out that digitization of COVID-19 data should not compromise the rights of the public to data privacy.
“Data transparency doesn’t mean we will reveal information on the identities of patients… These are people we are talking about. Each number represents someone, a family, a friend, a loved one and we don’t want to reveal very personal and sensitive information,” said De Guzman.
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