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Transforming the Quality of Palestinian Health Services Through Technology and Innovation

The Palestinian Health Sector Reform and Development project worked with the Ministry of Health on a digital health information system that manages patient records better and improves the quality of medical care.

Through the Palestinian Health Sector Reform and Development project, Chemonics, USAID, and the Palestinian Ministry of Health helped the health sector become more capable and responsive to public health needs. The program created consistent, high-quality standards and implemented reforms for all government hospitals and medical facilities.

Through the project, USAID supported the Ministry of Health, NGOs, and select educational and professional institutions in strengthening their institutional capacities to promote a functional and demo­cratic Palestinian health sector that is able to meet public health priorities. From 2008 to 2013, the project worked to achieve this goal through: 1) improving gover­nance and management practices in the health sector, 2) improving the quality of essential clinical and community-based health services, and 3) increasing the availabil­ity of essential commodities to achieve health and humanitarian assistance goals. In 2014, the proj­ect continued exclusively on one component, which was to work toward improving governance and management practices and the quality of clinical services in the health sector through expansion of a computerized health informa­tion system (HIS).
 
Significant program initiatives included activities to address maternal and child health care, chronic diseases, safe hygiene and water use, and injury prevention. Chemonics also collaborated with local partners to create programs that provide health education and social inclusion support to children with disabilities and their families.
 
The project built a system that only a few countries in the world possess: an entirely digital national-level information management system. The health information system creates an electronic record for each patient, allowing doctors to track procedures and treatment plans.
 
The centralized digital system also managed pharmaceutical orders and enabled hospital administration to control medical supply inventory, human resources administration, and facility finances. In addition to building the system, the program trained members of the Ministry of Health to manage it and integrate it with new and existing community health programs.
 
Project Results:
  • Helped extend health services through the HIS to 77 percent of Palestinians living the West Bank, through 17 health facilities in eight governorates.
  • Improved healthcare service delivery, increased health education among youth and women, and empowered communities to lend a voice in making decisions about healthcare services. The project was established in 83 communities in all 12 health directorates, led by community-based organizations. 1,352,327 participants benefited from the activities under this approach, over 1,000 community volunteers mobilized to carry out health and environmental awareness campaigns, an estimated $373,753 in local community contributions were leveraged.
  • Provided advanced training for front-line providers: 46 ER staff received ESI triage training, 27 doctors and nurses were trained on trauma life support, and 54 ambulance drivers were trained as first responders.
  • Procured $6.28 million in needs-based medical equipment, upgrading the Ministry of Health’s diagnostic and treatment services in hospitals.
Project Links:
 
Project duration: 2008-2014

 

The centralized digital system also manages pharmaceutical orders and enables hospital administration to control medical supply inventory, human resources administration, and facility finances. In addition to building the system, the program is training members of the Ministry of Health to manage it and integrate it with new and existing community health programs.

By September 2014, the system will be integrated into 17 government hospitals and clinics and will assist with providing high-quality medical services to 77 percent of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Digitizing the West Bank’s health care system has improved hospital performance and accountability, decreased wait times for patients, and improved the Ministry of Health’s ability to provide hospitals with necessary resources.

 

Project Links:

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