THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has installed ‘Customer Directing System’ software or Queue Management System (QMS) in the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), Muhima and Rwamagana hospitals.
The move is aimed at improving customer care in the health sector, according to officials. According to Daniel Murenzi, the head of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the ministry, the new product, dubbed ‘ONLINET QMS’, will increase efficiency, quality and service levels.
“It is an IT system that helps improve service provision at hospitals and healthcare facilities by organizing client flow and providing attention to all visitors,” Murenzi described the ONLINET QMS in an e-mail to The New Times.
The system’s major components include ticket dispenser terminals with touch screen displays, desk or counter displays, staff terminal in hardware and software version, and ONLINET CDS software responsible for client flow.
In a subsequent phone interview, Murenzi said that Rwf 63 million was used to equip the three hospitals with the system, whose installation was completed last month.
He noted some of the benefits of the new system as reduced waiting and administration time, increased number of visitors, customer satisfaction and staff efficiency, and reduced stress levels.
Patients or other clients only select the desired service on a touch screen, click on it, pick a ticket, and then sit and wait.
Services are indicated in different colouring, or icons and languages, with the system automatically selecting the next customer on a first-come-first-serve basis, while at the same time ensuring faster client flow.
It is hoped that the new system will reduce waiting and administration by 26 and 30 percent, respectively. The number of cases or patients attended to per day, staff efficiency, and patient satisfaction are expected to go up by 28, 30 and 60 percent, respectively, while staff concentration ability will increase by 30 percent. Mistakes during administration are expected to decrease by 45 percent, officials say.
The three hospitals are the first to benefit from a ‘pilot project’ that will gradually be extended to other district hospitals in the country. “These three had unmanageable queues,” reckoned. Murenzi.
There are 42 district hospitals in the country, and MoH plans to have them all equipped with such QMSs before the end of 2011.