, NAIROBI, Kenya, 13 Feb – Kenyans now have an opportunity to determine the quality of care they receive from health providers and the subsequent clinical outcomes of their interactions with providers in the sector.
This follows the launch of the Green Cross Network which is a robust platform that prioritizes patients’ needs by encouraging participatory and collaborative relationships between providers in the health care value chain and patients with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of their healthcare.
Spearheaded by the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya, (PSK), the Green Cross Network aims to shift the focus of the healthcare practitioners from transactional to that of ensuring that their service delivery is of value, cost effective and fits the needs and well-being of the patients.
“Lack of patient data will now be a thing of the past” PSK President Dr. Louis Machogu said during the launch. “From the first time you walk into a Green Cross Pharmacy outlet, your data will be logged in and from then on, your prescription information accessible between your doctor/s and your pharmacist within the network.”
He added, “Sharing information, experiences and knowledge will not only enhance treatment outcomes and reduce costs but also empower the patients to demand quality services.”
The network currently has 46 members, some of which are county facilities, which have undergone a rigorous accreditation process and together with other new members, will continually undergo training to ensure they are well equipped to meet the needs of patients and address the current gaps in healthcare provision.
Patients visiting the Green Cross accredited facilities will receive credible guidance, advice, and assistance at all times. Green Cross has integrated & partnered with SMART International, which is a provider of biometric (fingerprint) reader & SMART Card services to
biometrically verify the identity of users and manage utilization of the users of over 20 Medical Benefits & Insurance Services Providers from over 2,500 healthcare providers who won’t need additional hardware & installations on their Points of Sale systems. This strategic partnership will boost our efforts of increasing access points to at least 5 pharmacies per county by this time next
year, said Dr. Machogu.
The Green Cross Network has various innovative facets such as the ‘Adopt a Family Pharmacy’ community-based initiative which empowers Kenyans to verify if the health facilities within their areas and the practitioners running them are qualified and licensed. This move is expected to weed out practicing quacks in the sector who put millions of lives at risk.
Additionally, PSK has introduced comprehensive Pharmaceutical Care and Services Indicators that will enable the industry to shift its focus from dispensing prescription to tracking parameters such as impact of the medicine on the patients, the reaction or resistance to the medication and also where the medicine has reached those who needs medication. This invaluable information will then be
shared with the Government and would go a long way in enabling it to address the challenges occasioned by lack of reliable data in the sector and therefore improve access to primary care.
“For the first time in Kenya, we are moving from the age of dispensing medicines and sales indicators to tracking and improving on structures that ensures that the prescribed medicine is treating and preventing disease and complications; is cost effective and that the patient is living a good quality of life while on medication,” Dr Machogu added.
Another element is a cloud-based mobile and PC health platform dubbed the ‘Green Cross electronic Hospital Management Information System’ (eHMIS) which captures and ensures the patients moves with their records electronically within the Green Cross network to ensure that the client receives personalized care no matter the facility he visits. This for instance means that if someone is allergic
to some medication, then he is not given such medication when he visits another Green Cross facility.
“With this platform, patients will be uniquely identified, their ailments and medication coded, care standardised and personalised across the continuum. Hospital/Pharmacy owners, HCWs as well as policy makers will have needs- based access to a Green Cross Dashboard that gives indicators at a glance in order to effectively direct resources & action,” Dr Machogu explained.
These measures, the pharmaceutical industry says are designed to ensure that the healthcare professionals, the patient and the investors in healthcare play an active role in enhancing the performance of the sector and move the country closer to the attainment of health-related sustainable development goals.
PSK says by sharing experiences, platforms and knowledge about the patients, by maintaining and improving professional standards among the medics and also aggregating patients’ data, the key stakeholders will be playing their part in supporting the country to make great strides towards universal healthcare.
“A pertinent concern has been is whether we have someone who will ensure that UHC gains traction now and beyond. However, as PSK, we are saying that we cannot continue to look to one institution or individual to improve our healthcare system. As patients, healthcare workers, development partners, & investors in health, we have to take responsibility and collaborate to put in place systems, structures & data that ensures that everybody including the poor in our society have access to quality and affordable health products and services that will enable them to lead healthy & productive lives,” added Dr. Daniella Munene, PSK CEO.