Would our new Smart Health Facilities translate to better health services?
Our Readers' Opinions
April 22, 2022

Would our new Smart Health Facilities translate to better health services?

EDITOR: Smart Health facilities were opened in Union Island and Mayreau last week, joining those on mainland St. Vincent. We wonder what ‘SMART’ means and whether it wound translate to better health services. Would basic diagnostic tools be available to allow the local practitioners to make accurate decisions as patients are assessed for treatment?

A Google search reveals that “smart hospitals are hospitals which optimise, redesign and/or build new clinical processes, management systems and maybe even infrastructure, all enabled by underlying digitised networking infrastructure of interconnected assets, to provide a valuable service or insight which was not possible or available.”

In all likelihood, we all must work to help the facilities achieve their goals of improved patient engagement, diagnostics, optimised workflows, providing remote medical care, and enhanced safety.

We can expect to see increased use of electronic devices like smart phones, computers, and medical devices to provide connectivity among nurses, doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists, food service providers, ambulance, and patients. Off site professionals and opinions would be available also. The emphasis would be on preventive health management. Thus, I would expect to see more patient participation in the management of illnesses such as Hypertension and Diabetes through diet and exercise, reducing the dependence on drug treatments. Naturopathic and Chinese medicine would be given their right place in the treatment plans too. Those who are chronically ill must also have adequate care management. The facility would also know its capabilities and determine when care needs to be provided elsewhere and make timely referrals particularly when overseas travel becomes necessary.

In our religious society where there is a large community of Faith, Chaplains and Prayer Warriors can play their roles in facilitating the healing process. Social Workers, Counsellors, and Health Educators, too, must connect the community with the hospital to encourage the spread of Public Health information and action.

Anthony Stewart