According to ReferTech, the Patient Administration and Data Analytics (PANDA) app digitises patient information and data to minimise queues and treatment times.
This can increase the number of patients treated in a day and improve economic productivity through the recovery of lost work hours.
The PANDA app was launched in 2019 to support TB clinics. ReferTech has now adapted it for use in other medical settings.
The original TB patient trial and the expanded pilot have both been supported by the Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Partnership.
ReferTech CEO and co-founder Dr Patrick Koliwan said the PANDA app equips health sector workers with efficient data and reporting tools which can reduce waiting times and contribute to economic growth.
“We want to put an end to the days of clinical staff trawling through files, and patients spending hours waiting for treatment,” he said.
“Time in the waiting room is time people could be earning an income or contributing to community and family activities.
“This inefficiency also makes it more likely for people to drop-out of treatment because they can’t afford to miss work,” said Dr Koliwan.
The PANDA app is being piloted at Kaugere Clinic and the Sir Brian Bell Centre for Transfusion Medicine at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
ReferTech’s chief technology officer and co-founder David Valentine said the app’s simple interface and automated processes make it easy to use and can reduce human error in data entry.
“Each site has multiple handheld terminals which communicate with our cloud hosted infrastructure,” he said.
“Patients get a unique QR code that can be scanned to find their information within seconds.
“The app can also print labels with patient information for samples – like sputum used for TB testing – this is more efficient and means there are no issues with bad handwriting or other manual mistakes.”
For the initial TB pilot, the PANDA app covered a range of patient interactions, including initial screening, treatment, follow-up reviews, patient discharge and data collection.
It reduced time spent re-entering information and reporting vital data, resulting in decreased drop-out rates due to poor follow-up.
This cut hours from the time patients needed to spend at the clinic and better supported them to complete their treatment programs.
In the latest trial, the app is assisting blood transfusion staff to monitor blood stocks, track donor sources and records, and provide customised communications to past donors in the case of an emergency.
The PANDA app can also provide more reliable data capture and reporting to the National Department of Health to assist with the analysis of healthcare service delivery and treatment plans.
The first data reports for the blood transfusion centre are expected to be available in the coming weeks.
Photo credit: ReferTech