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GDF launches first Military Electronic Health Information Network in South America

The Guyana Defence Force launched the first Military Electronic Health Information Network (MeHIN) on the continent of South America on Friday, February 27 last. The historic launch was done at the headquarters of the GDF’s Medical Corps at Base Camp Ayanganna. GDF’s MeHIN is to be known as the Military Health Information System or “MHIS”.

 

Speaking to the Force’s latest achievement, Colonel Administration and Quartering, Captain (CG) John Flores indicated that, the acquisition of the technological resources and training to facilitate the launch of the project had been in the pipeline for a few years. “The Force recognised that, it needed a more efficient mechanism for the management of patient care including records management and security, over what it had been doing traditionally. The acquisition of the technological resources as well as the necessary training of our staff means that the GDF has now moved into 21st century medical management mode,” he said. “The system will allow us to effectively record and manage the medical services and interventions provided for our soldiers regardless of where they are located across Guyana.”

In her remarks at the launch of the MHIS, US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) Senior Health Informatics Advisor, Miss. Mary Kratz, said that the GDF is to be “..commended for their leadership to Guyana and the Region...”. Kratz also explained that, among other things, the MeHIN will support the tracking of HIV services such as prevention, counselling and testing as well as care services provided by the GDF. According to her, the GDF has now joined 11 other “military partners” from the Caribbean, Africa, and Central America who participate in the MeHIN. “I welcome the GDF to the Military eHealth Community and look forward to continual improvements to MHIS through the shared contributions of military medical partners to drive the requirements of services provided by both public and private partners.

Kratz, together with Director of Global Health Informatics Systems for Vista Life Sciences Inc., Mr. Brain Mayo, spent the last two weeks training GDF Medical Corps Staff, key GDF administrative personnel as well as GDF ICT personnel on the hardware and the software used by the MHIS. During that time the MHIS was also deployed and practitioners gained practical exposure to utilising the system. The GDF MHIS currently comprises 14 user computers, one large computer server, robust security mechanisms, Electronic Medical Record Software and is ready to host an eLibrary of medical references. It also contains 36 user accounts across thee GDF sites/locations.

 

Captain (CG) Flores, thanked the US DHAPP, the US DOD Security Cooperation Office Commander Robert Novotny and Miss Kratz and Mr Mayo for enabling the GDF to acquire the MHIS and to commence a historic path to modern medical management. “We are thankful to you for the assistance provided to bring this project on stream. The GDF and Guyana’s continued cooperation with the US Department of Defense is aiding in our capacity as a military to advance our capabilities. Becoming the first military in South America to acquire this technology and the requisite skills is significant in itself. The GDF will not however wish to rest on this achievement but will lead the way in aiding the national health infrastructure to develop similar capabilities as our MHIS will deliver for us.”