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The Ministry of Health of Chile (MINSAL) announces the creation of the Department of Digital Health

The Chilean government seeks to strengthen the role of Digital Health in the provision of health services, aligned with the slopes announced by WHO in early 2019, and promoting the formation of this area focused on the implementation of a base department for management of the Digital Hospital

Chile returns to take a step in Digital Health, as its government has released exempt resolution 595, signed by Dr. Jaime Malañich Muxi, Minister of Health, who requests the creation of the new Department of Digital Health. The objective with which it’s created is to bring the management and monitoring functions to the technology and communication tools that will be applied at the Digital Hospital.

The Digital Strategy in Health seeks to automate clinical and administrative processes within health facilities (hospitals and clinics), including the relationship with health authorities and public health processes, emphasizing the integration of systems, with the purpose to provide relevant information for the decision making of the different levels of management of the health sector.

One of the specific and primary objectives in Digital Health that have been in Chile since 2015, is to achieve an integrated system of attention to citizens. With the coverage of multiple channels, it’s seeking to implement a single window of communication and interaction with people to improve access, coverage and quality of services provided to citizens. The impact translates into improving the overall satisfaction of users and communities regarding the health services made available to them.

The decree made public by the representatives of the Chilean government specifies that the Department of Digital Health should create strategies based on the Model of Comprehensive Family and Community Health Care, in the context of the Integrated Health Services Networks and through the use of Information and Communication Technologies. Its goals will be to facilitate the provision of distance health services from the field of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

In addition, there are several verticals that the Ministry of Digital Health should follow, among which are:

  • Planning, Design, Implementation, Control and Monitoring of Digital Health Strategies to improve access and opportunity for health benefits, with technical quality.
  • Coordinate technically and administratively the Units of the Department of Digital Health in the development of actions under the guidelines of the Undersecretariat of Assistance Networks.
  • Integrate digital health actions in a complementary way to face-to-face health benefits.
  • Articulation of Telehealth Networks with the Health Services Network Design.
  • Provide the Assistance Networks with technological support, integrating into the systems currently in force.
  • Implement the Digital Hospital Project.
  • Develop strategies for disseminating Telehealth benefits and digital strategies available to the population.
  • Preparation of technical documents for the development of Digital Health.

Luis Osorio, spokesperson for the Health Committee of Chiletec, affirms that “although, there is not much information about this new unit yet, we hope that these changes will enhance and help in the progress of the different initiatives carried out by the Ministry of Health, the which was focusing strongly its management on the development of the digital hospital and although it is true it is a very interesting initiative, it was having certain problems in its implementation”.

Achieving the modernization of a country in Digital Health issues is very complex, but the first steps are the most important. Institutions that support the growth of the strategy are being formed in Chile to try to guarantee its execution and monitoring.

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