Dr Ismaeel Almakrami

Health Information Technology (HIT) has revolutionised the way we share data in the healthcare sector. Gone are the days when we used to share data on social media. Today, HIT has enabled us to share the right data with the right person at the right time. This has brought about many benefits to both patients and healthcare providers, shared Dr Ismaeel Almakrami, Health Informatics Consultant, Ministry of Health (MOH) – Saudi Arabia at Elets Global Healthcare Summit and Awards in Dubai.

He commenced the session by stating, “One of the significant benefits of HIT is its use during the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic was a terrible time for many people. However, it also brought about some benefits, such as the enhancement of Information Technology systems and applications. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, it was not allowed for patients and healthcare professionals to move around during the pandemic. To address this challenge, telemedicine, telehealth, and teleconsultations were employed to allow patients to access healthcare services from home by just clicking a button on their mobile phones. Daily meetings were conducted using HIT systems, which helped healthcare professionals to make rapid decisions.”

Before COVID-19, arranging meetings with members from different cities would take weeks. However, with the adoption of HIT systems, daily meetings became a reality, and decisions could be made promptly. The use of HIT systems and applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other similar applications has continued even after the pandemic. These applications are still installed on mobile phones and are used daily.

He expressed that it is crucial to note that these benefits were a result of using HIT correctly. HIT enables us to share data securely and efficiently. It helps to eliminate errors that are prevalent when sharing data manually. This, in turn, improves patient outcomes, reduces healthcare costs, and enhances patient experience.

In conclusion, the adoption of HIT has brought about many benefits to the healthcare sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has enabled patients to access healthcare services from the comfort of their homes and has allowed healthcare professionals to make prompt decisions. Therefore, we should continue to adopt and use HIT systems and applications to enhance healthcare service delivery.

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