By Jolly Gwari
Kampala – Across Africa, innovative enterprises continue to spring up, leveraging technology to create healthcare solutions on the continent; one such initiative is ClinicMaster, our reporter affirms
ClinicMaster was developed by Wilson Kutegeka, a talented Uganda software developer. Kutegeka is also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and the first Ugandan to receive such a prestigious award from Microsoft with a major in NET programming language
ClinicMaster is an integrated new generation of healthcare information management and medical billing software. It automates patients’ transactions in the clinic on a visit basis and daily procedures. Notably, it improves the efficiency of a hospital and improves the quality of care delivered to patients.
Being along awaited technology e-Health solution in Uganda, Red Pepper Digital‘s Jolly Gwari, on March 5, interviewed the CEO & Founder ClinicMaster International /lead developer Mr. Wilson K. Kutegeka to analyze the significance of the system.
Below are the excerpts from the interview
JG: What is ClinicMaster International?
Kutegeka: ClinicMaster International is responsible for the development and support of clinic master software. ClinicMaster is healthy information management and medical billing system that is capable of automating patient’s transactions in the clinic or hospital on their visit basis and daily procedure.
It is a system whereby a doctor will type notes directly into a computer rather than rely on pen and paper. For that reason, patients who go to the health centre do not need to carry papers but instead, their medical records will be in one electronic file, organized so that the doctor will quickly know their medications.
More so, the information is captured, stored and disseminated electronically. It also interconnects the patients to participate in this eco-system, meaning that a patient is able to schedule their own appointments like when patients moves from one facility to the other, doctors in those connected hospitals/clinics are able to exchange the patient’s data accurately and without fail.
JG: When did this technology come into view?
Kutegeka: we got incorporated in 2013, although developing it as a product; it has been commercially available for close to 10years now. Therefore, the company has been running officially since 2013.
RP: What/who inspired you?
Kutegeka: I was working with a health care facility as a programmer there while working there I encountered a scenario where someone who was 14years old on ARVs died simply because a person did not come to pick the medicine in time.
Although the facility has all the capacity to reach out to the different people, we did not know the implications of a non-existent proper schedule to monitor people’s appointments.
The incident made us realize that we needed a proper schedule system that alerts workers to know who has attended to what appointment, which has missed and also to find a reason as to why. So I started working on developing schedule mode and I also figured out that the challenges were everywhere in hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. So it became a requirement to automate the different processes in the facility.
RP: How does clinicMaster work?
Kutegeka: ClinicMaster revolutionizes the patients’ follow-up system. It changes the decentralized system where patients’ medical history was on paper and fragmented between all the clinics they went to, with no possible follow-up, to a centralized system where medical information is shared between the clinics on a common software network. It also makes clinics long-term health actors in the patient’s medical life, instead of simple one-time health providers.
For that reason, when patients go to one of the clinics from the Clinic Master network for the first time, the medical team creates a patient file on the platform. All the general health information (blood group, allergies, morphology…) are listed, as well as all patients’ medical events in their life (medical examinations, surgeries, chronic diseases, etc.). The file is stored on the Clinic Master’s servers.
When patients go back to a clinic of the Clinic Master network, the medical team can access their personal files and make a diagnosis with a maximum of information.
JG: Any achievement?
Kutegeka: Yes! This system is used in many hospitals, and clinics and we are still preaching the gospel of this new fast technology hoping for the best. In 2015, Clinic Master won the award of the best innovation in digital health. More so, on 22 Jan 2010, The Investor of the Year Award 2009 by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) was presented to Clinic Master. I was awarded For Innovativeness in the Field of Science and Technology for the development of ClinicMaster Software which is our mega achievement.
JG: Any challenges?
Kutegeka: the biggest challenge here is that we have the system but it is always not enough. People would love almost all areas automated, sometimes a system has a scope, it can do certain tasks depending on how it has been commanded on how to perform, therefore, we have the challenge of continuous customization as the system needs heavy investments to be able to come up with a better product.
And also the change is a big challenge, to change from manual system to an automated system in a place where people are used to writing on paper so it is hard to tell them that the information should be stored shared electronically in the system.
Getting skilled employees is also a challenge, someone fresh from the university will need some good time to adopt and understand requirements to make a change in the system