Initiative: Unified Health Information System (SIUS)
Institution: Ministry of Health, Government of Cundinamarca
Problem: During the process of formulating the 2012-2016 Departmental Development Plan, Cudinamarca Calidad de Vida y Plano Territorial, different factors were shown to hamper the population’s ability to access services due to geographic inaccessibility, population dispersion, and the availability of health services in the most remote areas. In addition, within the health institutions, the processes of capturing information and traceability of the clinical history in most of the departmental public hospital network were manual, repetitive, poor quality, and did not guarantee patient safety, quality of care and the custody of mandated medical history. One of the greatest difficulties the Colombian Health System has had is lack of reliable, timely, and consistent information. It has hampered activities in medical practice, as well as governance, stewardship, and control of the system of public health. The information systems in the hospitals and clinics of the public and private network were structured autonomously, developed in varied programming languages and without standardized criteria, generating rampant duplication and fragmentation of information.
Solution: Through Information Communication Technologies implementation by SIUS, (53 state hospitals within a public network covering 116 municipalities) the department has transformed decision making in the health sector. For 2012, 81.5 per cent of the public hospital network had low technological infrastructure, with 69.5 per cent in obsolete or low capacity data servers. 70.25 per cent in physical infrastructure was deficient and only 45.25 per cent of the administrative and health care areas were systematized. Most of the facilities were not qualified to provide adequate telemedicine services. By 2015, 91 per cent of the public hospital network had high technological capacity. 94 per cent had renewed data servers, 98 per cent had improvements in physical technology infrastructure, 100 per cent had systematization in the administrative and health care areas. It also achieved 100 per cent in telemedicine service qualification. Furthermore, coordination, efficiency, and accountability across the public health sector increased as costs for exchanging conventional information reduced greatly.