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International Patient Summary (IPS) Helps Sri Lanka Move Towards Millions of Patients and Billions of Records

Updated: Apr 11


A group of people in business atire stand in a boardroom for a photo, many are smiling.
The successful inter-partner team at the capacity building, 3rd Sri Lankan Connectathon, including Jembi staff Wayne Naidoo (Technical Director) Ajeenckya Gadewar (Technical Lead), and Martin Bröcker (Senior Developer)

Eight months ago, Jembi embarked on a partnership with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, with the generous support of the Patrick McGovern Foundation. The goal was to help realize Sri Lanka's national digital health blueprint, a visionary roadmap for healthcare modernization.


Early on, we recognized in our Sri Lankan counterparts both strong leadership and an environment that promoted swift progress. Indicating that this implementation could serve as a model of a scalable and operational health information exchange, not just for the Asian region but also for the African continent.


A Successful Connectathon for the International Patient Summary

In March 2024, the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka hosted the third in a series of Connectathons to realize their digital health vision  in Colombo, an event where technical experts, health professionals and partners  tested and validated health information system interoperability using the International Patient Summary (IPS). The objective was to improve the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) system to efficiently and securely manage millions of health records, enhancing patient outcomes nationwide.


To achieve this, the team implemented:

  1. The IPS-based structure and code systems in the NEHR

  2. Created an FHIR Implementation Guide

  3. Set up a Terminology Service solution for standardized data management

  4. The OpenHIM Platform for data exchange and monitoring

These crucial steps established a robust framework for standardized (FHIR based), efficient healthcare data storage and exchange within the NEHR, ensuring data management and interoperability. This advancement helped realize Sri Lanka's national digital health blueprint to create a scalable and functional health information exchange (HIE), providing a model for other countries looking to advance their digital health ecosystems.


Collaborative Efforts

This milestone was not achieved in isolation but represents the culmination of relentless efforts by a collaborative team of partners, including administrative leaders, local Sri Lankan EMR teams, and the Jembi team, all working together to improve Sri Lanka's healthcare through open innovation.


Moving towards our Mission

At the company-wide retreat in January, Chris (Jembi’s CEO) presented the company's strategy and goals for 2024, identifying the IPS as a strategic guideline for Jembi's core products like the OpenHIM Platform.  It demonstrates the strength of the strategy and the capabilities of the team that this was just an idea in January. But since then, multiple countries have embraced the concept of implementing an IPS to align their digital health investments.


Then, late in March, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health presented to its leadership and the Asian network of country teams showcasing how they successfully implemented the IPS and connected four major point-of-service systems to the HIE. All are powered by the OpenHIM Platform and JemPI.


Future Directions

As we celebrate this achievement, our focus is already shifting to what's next: enhancing platform infrastructure, expanding FHIR Implementation Guides for new applications, and reinforcing our commitment to data protection and privacy. Equally critical is our focus on capacity building and support to ensure the sustainable expansion of the system.

 

With plans for a full production setup, including live data submissions from all EMR instances, we are moving closer to Sri Lanka's vision of integrating "millions of patients and billions of records" into the NEHR.


Stay Connected

As we, our partners and funders, continue to make significant advancements in digital health, we invite you to join our journey. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about the latest updates, insights, and opportunities to be part of how the OpenHIM Platform reshapes the world of health information systems.

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