Thank you very much Najeeb for your helpful comments on this very important contemporary and expanding topic.
There is little doubt that digital health is useful and has come to stay but we need to tread with informed caution. Recently in a virtual meeting details of patients was being shared without anonymization, thus raising the issue of do health workers understand that as they move from paper to digital information that the basic rules of confidentiality and consent remain sacrosanct in the practitioner-patient relationship?
Apart from the Medico-legal mine field opened by neglecting such basic rules, there is the real prospect of losing patients Trust, which some may rightly argue is even a bigger disaster because on patients Trust of the practitioner lies the foundation of medical and health practice, and information gathering and use.
HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.
Email: jneana AT yahoo.co.uk