IIMA Publishes Heron White Paper - The Economics of Health Informatics

March 15, 2009, Markham, Ontario, Canada. Heron Technology Corp. announces that the company was invited by one of the world’s leading business schools, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, to submit a paper on Health Informatics. The paper, entitled ‘The Economics of Health Informatics’  was published in the IIMA February 2009 Newsletter found at  http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/feb2009/feb2009.htm - 6th article in the index.

The IIMA is the second of India’s world famous business schools, founded in 1961, and has been ranked by the Economist http://www.rediff.com/money/2004/jan/21quiz.htm as being “the toughest business school in the world to get into” – even more difficult that Harvard Business School in the USA, according to the Economist.

As can be noted from the Newsletter (Volume 19, No. 1) the main heading is ‘Information Technology in Developing Countries’, and the Newsletter is part of the ‘International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 9.4.’ Accordingly, IIMA is a key voice in bringing the benefits of ICT to the many countries of the Developing Country grouping which are now addressing the need to computerize their health sectors under the WHO (World Health Organization) HMN (Health Metrics Network) initiative - http://www.who.int/healthmetrics/en/

Heron has successfully implemented its Patient Administration System (PAS) in three developing countries, namely Jamaica, Montserrat, and Dominica, and was invited in 2007 by the CARICOM Secretariat to address the Chief Medical Officers on the benefits that would accrue to CARICOM countries through the implementation of the Heron PAS, on a standardized basis, in the countries of the region. Heron deployed the PAS/JISS (Jamaica Injury Surveillance System) application software suite in Jamaican hospitals starting in 1997. The Heron PAS software is also deployed in some Canadian hospitals, and meets the exacting reporting requirements of both the Ontario Provincial and Canadian Federal Governments.

Jamaica has now implemented a computerized health sector management system that is indeed today a ‘model’ for other developing countries, and developed countries, meaning worldwide. This is noted in eight articles prepared by a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) - led team of 27 health experts that visited Jamaica for an in-depth review of the Heron PAS/JISS.

Many developing countries have tried to emulate the developed countries in the implementation of HIS (Hospital Information System), and virtually all of these attempts have failed. The current IIMA article on the Heron approach for health IT in development countries is an abstract from Heron’s much lengthier article on the subject available upon request. The lack of resources in developing countries is the main reason for most of the health IT failures.

The most important factors that must be taken into account by any country planning to computerize its national public health sector are: affordability, sustainability, functionality, interoperability, and scalability.

The Heron PAS/JISS, COMPASS, addresses these important factors, and is the key first step in achieving e-Health, leading to a national Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Heron can be reached at [email protected] The website is at www.herontech.com


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