Health care experts have said there is an urgent need for the establishment of National Health Information Management Policy that will detail the procedures for release of patients’ health information for treatment, research and planning.
This was the submission by participants at the sixth National Conference on Environment and Health held on Wednesday, 6 and Thursday, October, 7 at the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State.
In a communique issued at the end of the conference, participants said every data-generating unit within the Health Information Management Department and the hospital should be staffed by well-trained and well-motivated Health Records Officers as required by accrediting bodies.
They added that health information and medical records should be integrated within the same health facility and efforts should be made to digitize them, as far as funds will permit.
According to them, stakeholders across various sectors must collaborate actively while postgraduate students from academia (Universities, Research Institutes and other tertiary institutions) should be encouraged to tackle real-life problems in active collaboration with professionals in the industry and government MDAs.
“Where practicable, such collaborators outside the formal academic institutions could be co-supervisors for such theses, thus providing incentives for mutual collaboration and stemming fear of loss of ownership/control over critical data.”
They added that practitioners and professionals from industries and government MDAs are encouraged to apply for postgraduate studies (certificates, diplomas or degrees) under the supervision of their collaborators in academia.
“Thus, formidable custom-designed and direly needed research could be built around their current routine schedules at work, thus motivating them in their data-gathering and data-transforming processes.”
The participants also commended the establishment of the National Trauma Centre Trauma Registry, Abuja, noting that the experience garnered is recommended as a model for building a Nigerian Trauma Registry and other required Registries in various specialties.
Speakers at the conference included Prof David Alao of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirate University, Al Ain, UAE, Babagana Mustapha, Registrar/CEO, Health Records Officers’ Registration Board of Nigeria, Abuja (represented by Mallam Wada Aliyu of the same Board), and Prof J.K. Olabanji, Chief Medical Director at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti.