By: Judith King (SA SURE PRO Copy and Content Editor) and Magrieta Liebenberg (Project Manager: HSS)
For nearly eight years, the Health Information Technology (HIT) project has been implemented by HST in eight provinces and 46 districts to install and maintain the Health Patient Registration System (HPRS) in clinics and hospitals.
Since October 2022, the project's continuation phase has been funded through a sub-contract with Right to Care (RTC,) served by a team of 35 HST HIT Technicians to implement the project.
The technological preparation and implementation of linked systems formed the foundation for HST to assist with roll-out to a larger group of facilities, thereby equipping them for participation in South Africa's National Health Insurance (NHI) programmes.
Rachel Makwela is a HIT Technician in Mopani District, Limpopo Province, rendering the services required by the National Department of Health (NDoH) as our partner.
HIT Technician for the HPRS Project, Rachel Makwela
"Some of my days start as early as 05h00 to resolve job tickets at assigned public health facilities," says Rachel. "Each round-trip is planned two weeks in advance, and our planning schedules are tightly organised to ensure efficient project delivery at clinics and hospitals."
She notes that maintaining a professional attitude when entering and working in a clinic is very important because she serves as the face of our organisation. "After signing the visitor's book, I meet with the Operational Manager to provide an update on the project services that have been planned with the District Information Technology Team," says Rachel.
"Once at my designated work-station, I investigate and troubleshoot problems experienced with identified computers, escalating the issues to the National Service Desk Technicians when necessary, and implementing solutions. After ensuring that the system is working, I conduct training for users of the HPRS. The HIT tracking tool is effected, and when reporting is completed, work can be closed off for the day."
Rachel Makwela troubleshooting the HPRS system
These technical services require a mixture of specialist expertise, along with good interpersonal and communication skills, which are highly valued by our district counterparts. Loadshedding, power outages and poor Internet connectivity are routine challenges that can delay completion of the work, so patience is a vital attribute for this role.
The project is a perfect example of how HST is fulfilling its mandate to provide innovative, responsive, collaborative and knowledge-driven capacity in support of the country's health systems.
"As HST's HIT Technicians," says Rachel, "we do our utmost to live out the organisation's values for people-centred solutions and health equity, so that every working day ends with certainty that we have contributed competently."
HEALTH SYSTEMS TRUST - CONTACT DETAILS
1 Maryvale Road, Westville, Durban, 3630
+27(0)31 266 9090