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Malaysia – HUKM Develops Own Total Hospital Information System
December 31, 2009, 9:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The following post is taken from: Australian Health Information Technology Blog. And this is related to Malaysian Healthcare IT.

Follow the threads: http://aushealthit.blogspot.com/2008/01/malaysian-hospital-develops-its-own.html

HUKM Develops Own Total Hospital Information System

By Mohd Arshi Daud

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) — Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) is developing its own Total Hospital Information System (THIS), the first by a government hospital in Malaysia and possibly in Asia.

Built up from scratch entirely by its staff, the hospital’s THIS initiative has already attracted interest from distributors keen to market the system to both government and private hospitals in the country.

THIS costs million of ringgit to implement but the market for such a system in Malaysia is huge, given that there are over 100 public hospitals and a large number of private hospitals.

In addition, the HUKM-developed THIS, called Caring Hospital Enterprise System (C-HEtS), is expected to be cheaper than similar systems available in the market.

“HUKM is still looking at the business model on how to go about providing C-HEtS to others,” said Dr Ahmad Taufik Jamil, head of HUKM’s information technology (IT) department.

“For example, one government specialist hospital spent more than RM50 million for its total hospital information system. We have so far spent only about 10 million,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Dr Taufik said the huge savings was a result of HUKM itself holding the copyright for C-HEtS (created 100 percent in-house) and the system was developed using a free software from US-based software firm Oracle Corp.

“It’s free. The tool is JDeveloper 10g, which is based on Java technology under Java 2 Enterprise Edition,” he said.

Dr Taufik, who holds a BSc (Medicine), MD (Doctor of Medicine), M.Sc (IT), and MPH (Master of Public Health) majoring in hospital management, is leading a team of about 80 people in the project, with half of them technical and IT personnel and the rest comprising C-HEtS users like doctors and nurses.

Continue reading here:

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=305217

The first thing is to consider the exchange rate. As it turns out as of the time of writing it is 1.00 AUD = 2.86859 MYR so the planned budget is of the order of about $A7.0 million for a full scale hospital information system developed with quality tools and appropriate standards.

It seems to me this is very good thing to be happening – but that there are quite substantial risks also.

First it is clear the hospital is lucky enough to have a really skilled leader to steer and drive this project forward. I hope they have both ‘key man insurance’ and a well considered succession plan as I am sure if this project continues to be successful someone with these capabilities will be snapped up by the Epics or Cerners of the world.

Second, as history has shown, when a hospital develops a system for itself there is usually not the planning done to ensure there is the flexibility built in to permit implementation in other organisations. IBM, among others, have be caught by this issue and have found it very complex to render transportable some advanced self developed US systems – even to other similar organisations within the same country.

Third experience has often shown self developed systems become progressively more difficult to maintain as development staff move on and it is then discovered that the documentation for important areas of the system is quite up to scratch. This was a lesson I learnt very early when I found myself looking after home developed systems at Royal North Shore in the late 80’s

I wish Dr Taufik well and I hope he has read up on the traps he might encounter that can render an apparent bargain a major nightmare in the years to come.

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