Via Noel A. Bañez, R.N.
Phone: +63 2 5256501 (telefax)
UP Manila National Telehealth Center
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES — The Quezon City Health Department reports that dengue cases are up by 3,447 cases from January to August, reaching the “alert threshold.”
This singular figure – a result of painstaking manual collation of reports gathered collectively by more than 250 public health nurses and midwives – is a powerful piece of information that should guide the public health management of the vector-borne disease.
However, because health information is manually obtained, collected, and aggregated, it loses its relevance by the time it reaches the desk of health managers. Therefore, it follows that the response mounted is not optimum.
This scenario is not unique to the Quezon City Health Department. Everywhere in the country, health managers struggle with having to rely on outdated or stale data to achieve a semblance of “evidence-based” decision-making.
But with its visionary leadership, Quezon City will be the first city to become an exception.
On September 12, the Quezon City government, led by Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, launched the P8.5 million Computerized Health Information System project utilizing the University of the Philippines’ homegrown electronic medical record system called Community Health Information Tracking System or CHITS.
This was formally sealed with Mayor Bautista and newly-installed UP President Alfredo E. Pascual signing of the Memorandum of Agreement at the Bulwagang Amoranto in this city.
Because of this, the “most populous city in the Philippines” is the first urban city to automate its entire health department.
“We can easily address the problem in a click of a button; unlike before, when we had to call our district supervisors to submit reports,” said City Health Officer Dr. Antonieta V. Inumerable of the Quezon City Health Department. “Now they can concentrate in the monitoring and easily apply preventive measures.”