IT Works recently offered a national scholarship essay contest, where entrants were asked to write about the importance of sponsored research. Over the next few months, IT Works will be publishing many of the student essays on our website.
Author: George Madjitey
I am George Madjitey, a MHA candidate at Texas Women’s University. As we are all aware technology is the forefront of progression in our present world. In the United States alone, technologies have increased efficiency, organization, and in turn the development of many sectors of our community. In 2013, I decided to take the initiative of working in Ghana, West Africa at a local hospital called Korle Bu. I worked in the maternity ward under the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lassey M.D. In working there I saw ways in which the medical infrastructure contrasted ours in the States. My previous work experience at Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, Texas provided insight as to how things operate within the health care system of the United States. Despite contrast, the health care system in Ghana, to my content, has managed to provide adequate health care needs for the general public.
Although this is the case, I saw notable issues with organization and efficiency in medical practice. I noticed a direct correlation between the efficiency and organization of the hospital and the means by which patients were documented. The practice of paper health records is still maintained throughout the health care system in Ghana, in contrast to our recent efforts in the United States to implement EHR/EMR (Electronic Health/Medical Records). In seeing the issues of organization and efficiency, and more importantly the root cause, the use of paper records, I created what I call the “EOD Project”. EOD stands for Efficiency, Organization, and Development. The focus of the project is to combat the issues of efficiency and organization with the creation/implementation of an adaptable EHR/EMR system. By doing so, this will increase efficiency and organization, resulting in further development of the health care system in Ghana. I say Ghana in the most general sense. Although Ghana is a third world nation, it stands as one of the leading developing nations in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Ghana, standing at the forefront of development yet maintaining third world infrastructure in many of its sectors, makes it an eligible candidate for the implementation of such system. In looking towards Ghana as an archetype to execute such a system, this will allow for similar opportunities in other third world nations. With Ghana used as the initial foundation for the project, the overall objective of the EOD can be met; establishing grounds for the continued progression and development of health care on a global scale. The benefits of such system will not only further develop the health care system but can be seen as a means by which the country as a whole may benefit.
At this current moment, the healthcare-IT market within Ghana and much of Africa is practically non-existent. Therefore the implementations of an EHR/EMR system will not only provide better health care in the long run but will also open a market, which will prove economically beneficial. In the United States, the health IT market has grown vastly and still continues to grow. It is reported that between 2012 and 2014, the health IT market of the United States will grow at a compound annual rate of 24%. This has lead to a market value estimated to exceed 110 billion dollars in 2012. This market has therefore proven essential in the progression of the United States both from a health care and economical standpoint. When looking at the advancement of healthcare in the United States, I recognize the influence that technology has had. Seeing its influence has reiterated the fact technology is a necessary tool in the advancement of societies. I believe that moving forward, more projects such as mine will incorporate technology with the purpose of solving issues of advancement. Continued research in technology is therefore an essential tool in advancing society.
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