The Quezon City Government is rolling out an “online information exchange database” that seeks to facilitate reachable and available maternal and neonatal health services to its citizens. It aims to allow the city’s health centers to gain access to the medical profile of mothers who gave birth at private lying in clinics for faster delivery of health services.
Mayor Herbert M. Bautista, thru the QC Health Department (QCHD), in partnership with United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab, Inc.), spearheaded the launch of the “Seal of Excellence” (SoE) Plus, during the 5th Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit last November 20, 2017 at Sequoia Hotel. This initiative is part of QC’s continuing efforts to innovate its health services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The SoE Plus Program also aspires to eliminate delays in the provision of maternal and newborn health services and to ensure the prompt response especially the postpartum care for mothers and immunization of babies.
The mayor said his “marching order” is to involve the private sector in the governance side of the city government. “We are now three million Filipinos in Quezon City and we need the participation and cooperation of the private sector to address the challenges of the sustainable development goals to lower the mortality rate of mothers giving birth and their newborn,” he reiterated.
At the press conference, Mayor Bautista stressed the importance of maternal and neonatal services to the well-being of a pregnant woman and her child. “Maternal & Neonatal check-up is no joke. We want to make sure about the safety and the quality of service that these private lying-in clinics provide when it comes to maternal and child care. The general health of the city’s future residents starts from their birth. Hence, we should provide incentives to the private lying-in centers to maintain their high-level services to our residents.”
The City Mayor added that the city government is looking into expanding the online database to include hospitals in the city to allow doctors to have immediate access to medical records in cases of emergency. QC could adopt the same strategy for other health services especially for senior citizens clinics, therapeutic clinics, chemotherapy clinics or dialysis centers, if the Seal of Excellence proves successful.
Using a computer application developed by the QC Health Department’s Information Technology (QCHD IT) Staff headed by Mr. Jayson delos Santos, the medical and health profile will be encoded and transmitted via internet to the city’s health centers. The information would enable the health center staff to locate and identify the mothers & infants in the community and provide them the services they need.
“The health center could ascertain the mother and her newborn, visit them, and encourage them to continue with the needed health services,” said Dr. Ramona Abarquez, City Coordinator of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health & Nutrition (MNCHN) Program.
SOE Plus is an innovation on top of Quezon City’s current maternal health policies over private lying-in clinics, which was implemented last year, called the Seal of Excellence. This program monitors and recognizes private lying in clinics which have fully complied with the standards set by the Department of Health (DOH), PhilHealth, and the city’s regulations.
Dr. Abarquez said the SoE for private lying-in clinics roadmap includes licensing and accreditation (sanitary permit, license to operate, PhilHealth accreditation); service delivery network (manpower, basic equipment and supplies, transportation, referral system, zero maternal and neonatal death, memorandum of agreement for service delivery network and community-based support); services (counseling, immunization, family planning services, newborn screening, AP/PP/Delivery, capacity building, lifesaving drugs and medicines and human immunodeficiency virus testing); and policies and ordinance (compliance to facility based delivery, reports, live birth registration, compliance to milk code and newborn screening).
At least 44 private lying in clinics were given awards for meeting the quality health care standard. The Quezon City Health Department also presented a website for mothers to locate the nearest quality lying-in clinics from their residence.
Aside from the program’s benefits for Quezon City residents, Claire D. Papa, Unilab’s External Affairs and Social Partnerships Head, also stressed the importance of the data recording aspect of the program, especially when it comes to the city government’s plans on health policies. “This is because health services, especially childbirth, are often registered improperly. The program is important for the city government, especially when it comes to creating a plan since you’re working on data,” she said.
“The Seal of Excellence is a testament to public-private partnerships that can work efficiently to improve public health services. Being in the business of health such as running a private lying-in clinic is a critical responsibility as it is supposed to provide adequate care and services to pregnant women and their infants. Therefore, it must be able to fully comply with national and local government standards,” Ms. Papa added.
Dr. Verdades P. Linga, the City Health Officer, stated that the Seal of Excellence Program aspires to enhance community partnership development in pursuing sustainability of the MNCHN Service Delivery Network (SDN) in terms of coordination, implementation and delivery of services, maintenance of quality-assured products and services, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation. This innovation shall make available all necessary, quality, safe and free services for both mother and newborn as part of their continuum of care from the private lying-in clinic to their health center.
“In 2016, only 23 percent are Seal of Excellence awardees, while 17 percent are lacking in some requirements. At least 54 percent are poor in compliance. An improvement is evident this year. Out of the 83 operational private lying-in clinics, 44 or 53 percent have outstanding performance, while 5 percent needs improvement. 37 percent are poor in compliance,” Dr. Linga added.
Another “PLUS” in the event was the announcement that Quezon City was awarded as Champion for Best in Government Iner-Operability (G2G) Category in the recently concluded 6th e-GOV Awards, organized by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Information & Communication Technology. The awarding was held last November 17, 2017 a Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City.
QC was the first to be awarded in this category for its rCHITS program or real time monitoring of maternal and child health indicators through the use of Community Health Information Tracking System. The G2G award is a new addition to the roster of awards given by NICP yearly. NICP has taken into account the city’s initiative to connect data and systems with other government offices both local and national, for the ease of its constituents and to enhance its public service delivery.
2 Finalist Plaques were also conferred to the QC government. They are as follows: 1) Seal of Excellence given to private lying in clinics as the city’s Best in Customer Empowerment entry and; 2) rCHITS for its Best in Government Inter-Operability entry.
Lastly, the promises, challenges & opportunities of an electronic medical record (EMR) was presented during the summit by Mr. Arturo M. Ongkeko, Jr., Research Associate of he UP National TeleHealth Center. Quality Health Information through the implementation of EMR’s can reduce long waiting times, avoid overcrowding & under provision of care, improve record keeping and continuously practice privacy and confidentiality. This system can also impart data for prompt decision making. “Here’s another exciting opportunity that started January this year, all public health centers and hospitals are required to submit their claims reimbursement forms to PhilHealth electronically. Next year, all private clinics will be included in this policy as well, Mr. Ongkeko added.
The 5th Maternal and Neonatal Summit was published in 8 online news namely:
Quezon City Local Government
QC’s Digital Health Program to Hasten Access to Maternal, Newborn Health Servies
Quezon City Local Government
QC's Digital Program SOE Plus to Speed Up Delivery of Healthcare Services to Mothers, Newborn
Quezon City goes digital with maternal, newborn database
By Camille A. Aguinaldo, News5 | InterAksyon
November 20, 2017, 11:54 PM
QC seeks private help for mothers
posted November 21, 2017 at 10:16 am
by Rio N. Araja
QC online info database for lying-in clinics
By Alladin S. Diega November 23, 2017
The Daily Tribune
Maternal and neonatal services improve in QC
Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 27 November 2017 15:56
Malaya Business Insight
Improving the quality of care for mothers and newborns
By Edison Joseph G... November 27, 2017
The Manila Times
QC boosts maternal and neonatal services
Monday, November 27, 2017