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HK’s Hospital Authority Launches Mobile App

HA Go Mobile App

Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority (HA) announced the launch of its HA Go mobile app in December 2019, which is aimed to improve patients’ experience when using public hospital services and facilitate the management of their own health.

Features of HA Go Mobile App

  • Through the use of the app, members of the public can view their scheduled appointments anytime, pay hospital bills without queuing and access their dispensing records, drug information and allergy records.
  • The app adopts the real-name registration system to safeguard data privacy. After the app is downloaded and personal information is entered, the user is required to activate the account in person at hospitals with the Hong Kong identity card and the 2D barcode issued by HA Go for identity verification.
  • Activation centres with the HA Go logo have been set up at most public hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients can choose to complete the activation during their next visits to the hospitals for appointments.
  • Besides integrating several HA apps that are currently in use, the newly developed HA Go has newly added features.
  • The range of functions now includes specialist outpatient clinic (SOPC) new case booking service and management of booked appointments.
  • Patients can view their scheduled appointments in the past year and upcoming ones in SOPCs, general outpatient clinics, radiology examinations, allied health, nurse and pharmacist clinics.
  • Payment of hospital bills and standard drug charges can also be done via the app. HA Go also provides multimedia rehabilitation programs in videos and games for patients. Following the assessment of healthcare staff, these prescribed programs can help patients systemically exercise at home or in the community for their rehabilitation.
  • Currently, Hong Kong Identity Card holders aged 18 or above may register as an HA Go member. The app, available in both traditional Chinese and English, can be downloaded for free and supports both Apple and Android mobile devices.
  • According to another article, the Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) of HA stated that that one of the five portfolios under HA’s IT 5-Year Strategic Portfolio is Enhanced Patient Experience & Outcome, which focuses on new patient-centric service models with disruptive technology. One of the key deliverables that HA is working on is a unified patient app in the form of HA Go.

HA’s Clinical Management System (CMS) – 1990s Till Present

Currently, in its fourth generation, the CMS at HA started off modestly in the 1990s with convincing the frontline to start using these tools with a very basic digitalisation of hospital wards.

By the year 2000, the second phase of development for CMS began when HA linked up with the various hospitals, as well as linking the outpatient and inpatient records together. More tools were also built to support the healthcare process with features such as order entry and rudimentary forms of decision support.

Phase three of the CMS was about rebuilding the entire platform to a more modern one which allowed for a much greater integration/standardisation across the board.

The fourth phase of development of the CMS uses a slogan called the 5Ps approach:

  • Paperless – the HA has hit an inflection point where in many cases, the paper workflows are now going to be more cumbersome than the digital workflows that they can now design;
  • Protocol-based – introducing clinical intelligence from people, guidelines, websites, books into the CMS;
  • Closed looP – in a very complex workflow like a high-volume hospital, things get missed out, the loop does not get closed because nobody can keep track of everything all the time. Communication tools on the clinical side will be strengthened to make sure everything is followed up and the loop is closed;
  • Personalised – to allow for a greater degree of personalisation for every single individual user across different hospitals, depending on their particular situation; and,
  • Patient-centricity – a reminder that the patient is still the centre of the healthcare universe.

Robust digital healthcare infrastructure is necessary if Hong Kong is to move forward with its Smart City objectives.

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