Public Private Partnership Builds World Class Digital Hospital in Developing African Country

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Bokamoso Private Hospital harnesses specialist care capabilities and state-of-the-art technology to move the country closer to achieving the highest standards of care.

"Our vision for Bokamoso is to be an internationally recognized center of medical excellence providing state-of-the-art health care services and an advanced nursing practice model,” said Kabelo Ebineng, CEO of Bokamoso Private Hospital.

Bokamoso Private Hospital opened the doors to its 200 bed digital hospital in 2010 with advanced specialist care capabilities and state of the art technology to improve health care provision in Botswana, a developing African country. The tertiary care hospital was the result of a public private partnership between Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS) and PULA Medical Aid Fund (PULA). The goal was to build excellent regional and international quality health care services; provide assurance to potential foreign investors that their employees would be able to access prompt, proper and world-class health care locally; and reverse the devastating brain drain that continues to adversely affect the delivery of health care services throughout Africa.

Bokamoso Private Hospital worked in partnership with Aspen Advisors via OR International to select, design and build the technology and telephony architecture, select and implement the hospital information system, hire and train the information technology team, and assist in getting the digital hospital open.

"Our vision for Bokamoso is to be an internationally recognized center of medical excellence providing state-of-the-art health care services and an advanced nursing practice model,” said Kabelo Ebineng, CEO of Bokamoso Private Hospital. "Key to achieving this vision is using state-of-the-art technology and highly trained, skilled and talented staff drawn from across the globe for their required expertise. OR International and Aspen Advisors have been strategic partners in making this a reality – even given the significant constraints of our USD6 million technology budget.”

"The word Bokamoso in Setswana means the future, and this is exactly what we together have been creating,” said Guy Scalzi, Principal at Aspen Advisors and then interim CIO at Bokamoso Private Hospital. “And when helping to build a world-class hospital from the ground up in a developing country, thinking outside of the box is a requirement.”

Among the challenges in creating the digital hospital were working within a technology budget less than half of that of a traditional U.S. budget for a fully integrated EMR alone, complicated technology supply chain logistics, limited technical talent resource pools and a hospital staff unfamiliar with not only American hospital processes but working in a digital environment in addition.

“The IT go-live, though critical, is only one facet of it all,” said Craig Schlusberg, Principal at Aspen Advisors. “The staff are so new to this kind of environment that even basic workflow needs to be learned anew by the staff. For example, the notion that in the outpatient setting you get triaged by a nurse, seen by a doctor, then down to lab and radiology for tests, then back to OPD to checkout is a completely different process for them.”

Bokamoso Private Hospital opened on January 11, 2010 with all technology services to support hospital operations successfully selected, integrated and commissioned for the opening day. The hospital has an electronic medical record (EMR) in a paperless workflow environment. The radiology information system (RIS) and picture archiving and communications system (PACS) provide for completely filmless diagnostic imaging services found in all world class hospitals.

A highly redundant medical grade data network, including wireless service with 100% coverage within the hospital, is used for PCs mounted on mobile carts, patient vitals monitoring in OR and ICU, wireless patient telemetry in CCU and wireless IP telephones. A creative design, using wireless WAN technologies, provides telephone and Internet services at the hospital – since the hospital is remote from the city of Gaborone where no wire or fiber service to the campus existed. Botswana Power Corporation provides line power, which is then routed through uninterruptible supply, with further backup provided by three diesel powered generators whenever the hospital experiences service outages that frequently occur in the region.

About Bokamoso Private Hospital:
Bokamoso Private Hospital, owned by the Bokamoso Private Hospital Trust, formed by Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS) and PULA Medical Aid Fund (PULA) is a private not-for-profit health care provider. We offer our patients a skilled and caring staff who provide patient centered care of the highest clinical excellence in a state-of-the-art facility.

About OR International:
OR International is a U.S. corporation of international hospital developers and management experts whose projects are distinguished by outstanding clinical performance and high levels of productivity, achieved by implementing a detailed program of largely American best practice clinical and support processes. ORI is providing a turn-key developer service for Bokamoso Private Hospital. It assembled an international team of experts to formulate business and clinical plans and coordinate all aspects of construction. The ORI team has also recruited doctors (among whom are re-patriated Batswana doctors trained in the US and Europe), nurses, administrative leaders and support staff for the hospital. ORI will oversee operations of Bokamoso Private Hospital during its initial five years.

About Aspen Advisors:
Aspen Advisors is a professional services firm dedicated to helping healthcare providers optimize the value of their information technology investments. The organization’s experienced team is highly skilled in all aspects of healthcare technology and understand the complexities of healthcare operational processes, the vendor landscape, the political realities and the importance of projects that are executed successfully – the first time. Our hallmarks: top quality service and satisfied clients. Learn more at http://www.aspenadvisors.net.

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Shawna Schueller
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