By adopting to NPK Hospital management system(Afya pro) Nkhoma hospital has streamlined operations of the hospital.hence the hospital is now able to provide quality and efficient health care services to the comunity.
Afya software is specifically designed by NPK Technologies, to address the issues of lack of digitalised hospital systems in Tanzania,East and central Africa. The innovative approach taken by NPK is that the software is available for free, even though it is not open source. The company charges only for the implementing side of their business which works on project- and change management issues.
One unique feature of this software is that it is not fully workflow based. This works best in the local context as each level can work independently of each other. If one level is not completed, it does not hold up the work flow on another.
Currently, Afya has been been implemented in 8 health facilities in Mwanza Region, in Magu District Hospital and in Kinondoni Municipals Council Health Facilities. From April 2007 4 more hospitals will be implemented with external assistance: 3 Tanga District hospitals and the llala Municipal Hospital.
Typical training consists of one month of basic computer training. This enables hospital administrators to go from not having seen a computer before, to being able to use basic computer packages. There is then additional training in the area of the software that the administrator requires specifically for their job: about 2 weeks. A train-the-trainer approach is used to continually train others so that the system is never without trained persons. At the moment, 6 departments within these hospitals are working with computers (registration, laboratory, medical records data entry etc.)
There are some savings for patients: records are digitalised so they are not penalised if their ID card is lost which formerly forced them to buy a new one. There is also savings in time for habitual patients. Doctors save time on their monthly administrative workload, have easy access to patients’ medical history and the time between treatment and billing, as well as the time between invoicing at the National Health Insurance Foundation and and reimbursement is cut, so hospitals need smaller cash flow and accountability is better assured. Due to the fact that the Ministry accepts this system and the reports the system generates for them there is also time saved at the end of the system due to the quicker medical records data entry at the beginning.