The Negros Occidental provincial government launched its Digitized Health and Emergency Management system designed to ensure the swift and efficient response to health needs and disasters, Thursday, July 1.
“COVID-19 changed the world and we are called to change accordingly to adapt to the situation,” Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said at the launching at the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
He said by digitizing the health and emergency management system of the province “we are taking not just a step, but a stride, in handling this crisis in an adept and consummate manner, with all the knowledge and resources available, and that includes technology”.
Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the Negros Occidental Emergency 911 hotline is now fully operational 24/7 to accept calls for help from any part of the province.
It caters to calls for fire, police, ambulance, and search and rescue assistance, he said.
The 911 calls are free of charge through Smart, Sun, Talk N’ Text and PLDT, he said, adding that Globe has declined to give free calls.
Institutionalizing the emergency 911 hotline is in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 56 S.2018, Diaz said.
He said since the 911 system began 98 percent of the calls they received were prank calls.
To address this an ordinance penalizing prank calls is being proposed, Diaz said.
Diaz also said the provincial government is also buying six more ambulances to boost their response to health emergencies.
A One Hospital Command digitized system has also been established that will serve as the center of communications for the transfer of patients from one hospital to another, Diaz said.
It will be under the Hospital Operations Department headed by Dr. Girlie Pinongan.
The One Hospital Command will facilitate medical transport and patient pickup arrangements, provide health system capacity, data analytics, risk communications and optimize the use of critical care services in every hospital in Negros Occidental, Diaz said.
Through the One Hospital Command system an initial assessment of the patient can be made before selecting a suitable hospital that will then be notified, Diaz said.
Even before the patient arrives at a hospital it will already have information of his or her condition, he said.
“We will be able to save more lives in the process”, Diaz said.
The Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program online information system has also been set up, Diaz said.
Under the system all local government officials and indigent beneficiaries will be able to look at their benefits online, and how much services they have already availed of, Diaz said.*