INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT
In its very basic sense, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) refers to the various electronic tools and services that facilitate communication and the sharing of information and knowledge. The unraveling of new technologies has expanded the world of ICT in such a way that our own world seems much smaller, and much more connected than ever before.
Today ICT not only means the call you make to relatives on the other side of the world, or the quick email you send through your mobile phone. ICT is now something much more deeply woven into the fabric of our lives; it allows students to remotely connect to their university classes, or expats to send money back home through a simple SMS. ICT is the thread that has the potential to connect everyone and everything important around the world, including the health sector. Instances from around the world indicate that technology used intelligently has been able to improve health indicators of people in many countries. Its success in the health arena is based on the simple fact that mobile phones are almost everywhere, even in the remotest of villages and inaccessible settlements.
Technology is today changing the landscape of the world and leading us towards a sophisticated technical world. The emerging role of ICT has created a huge impact on healthcare. It enhances the quality of care, increases the patient security and data protection and reduces operating & administrative costs.
The telecommunication devices are more user-friendly and used by a huge population around the world which has reduced the communication gap to a minimal level. Therefore, accessibility to information has become simple with the usage of ICT and also people find themselves more relaxed while availing themselves of healthcare service.
There are various challenges faced by the healthcare sectors such as storing the medical records of the patients, maintaining hospital information system, maintenance of medical equipment, tracking medication error and lots more.
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department of the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta came into existence in April 2007 with the employment of three pioneering ICT staff, two of which had disengaged.
The department is in charge of all Information and Communication Technology activities across all units and departments in the hospital.
i Strengthening of the hospital’s existing ICT infrastructure through installation of more wireless radios to boost networks within the hospital in preparation for seamless transfer of data and sharing of network and ICT infrastructure in readiness for digitization of the operations of the hospital’s clinical and administrative responsibilities. Additional new laptops, desktop computers and other accessories were installed to support the existing ones.
ii The department installed essential software like anti-viruses and repaired some hardware.
iii The Department managed the hospital’s website which was changed from
www.neuroaro.org to www.neuroaro.com and now www.neuroaro.gov.ng.
iv The department updated and upgraded designed operational applications as and when due. It designed and overhauled software in various stations to ensure smooth operations. There was also deployment of new application to support the hospital’s multiple operations in her clinical duties.
v The Department installed 64channels Security surveillance system first and second phase and maintained them.
vi Building of Dynamic Intranet Application. This is going on in-line with the newly redesigned hospital website because they both share the same platform. The only difference is that the intranet will be limited to within the hospital network and can be accessed without being connected to the internet. Additional functions that will be included on the intranet are the facilities for disseminating internal memoranda, intranet telephoning, and intranet e-forum. Also to be designed and deployed on the intranet is the electronic patient records. The ICT unit has already completed and deployed application being used at the medical records department which however will be upgraded accordingly.
vii The department’s help desk provided technical assistance and support related to computer systems, hardware and software. The Department provided answers to queries to users issues in a timely and professional manner and train users on basic system and computer functions. Understanding and proactively maintaining daily system performance, having the ability to troubleshoot different categories of user’s problems and innate follow-up and follow through skills are part of the support services offered with the Help Desk.
viii Online capacity building for staff: This was largely supported by the approval of monthly internet access subscription requests by designated staff in the hospital and also through the coverage areas of the access donated by the NCC.
The department coordinated all training in the hospital driven by ICT and offers technical support during seminars and related activities all through the year.
ix Developing and regulating ICT solution usage in the hospital: The department defines appropriate ICT standards and deployed appropriate tools for use across the hospital. It provided and administered a secured and reliable connectivity and network infrastructure throughout the year. Furthermore, it provided ready access to ICT applications, information and tools for information dissemination, exchange and collaboration.