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February 23rd, 2017 by


Yesterday, T-Systems, in partnership with Olympic Gold Medalist, Wayde van Niekerk, and his foundation, the Wayde Dreamer Foundation revealed their plans to introduce a patient management solution to the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust.

The management platform will enable greater communication between neonatal staff and the parents of premature babies. Gert Schoonbee, MD of T-Systems said, “People assume that everyone has smartphones, but they don’t”.

T-Systems

Ci4LkdPUYAAMm W - Wayde Van Niekerk & T-Systems Simplify Patient Management For Prem Babies

The system has also scheduled 10 pain points that the neonatal unit faces. One of which is the lack of follow-up on the part of the parents.

Dr Joolay, Senior Neonatologist at Groote Schuur Hospital said, “We spend hours trying to trace these babies. Desperately wanting them to come back for a follow-up.”

He warned that a major issue with premature babies is the susceptibility to blindness. This is due to the maldevelopment of the blood vessels in the eyes (retinopathy of prematurity) in premature babies. The timespan to catch this is only a few days.

“It’s quite a wake-up call, ” says Van Niekerk. “If you think about how much, financially, the parents save if they invest properly at the birth stages of their child. If you do it right from the beginning, you avoid having to live a different lifestyle if the child were to develop a disability [as a result of no-follow up appointments]. It helps me appreciate what I have so much more. I’m healthy and I don’t have any form of disadvantage.”

Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo commended Wayde van Niekerk on being a role model for the youth and for “doing good and not being naughty”. Mbombo is also a trained nurse and spent many hours in neonatal units. She said “what affects the moms, affect the babies,” highlighting the need for proper communication. And, to inform parents of the urgency of follow-ups after a premature baby has been discharged.

The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust

wayde van niekerk, premature baby, groote schuur hospital

The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust, an independent Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), was founded in 2008. It raises funds to support the work of the Neonatal unit at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Primarily, for the care and treatment of over 2000 of the 40 000 babies born in the Metro West (Southern Peninsula) region annually.

According to Mpumi Nhlapo, Head of T-Systems South Africa’s IT Portfolio and Solution Sales, this particular initiative was a natural first beneficiary of the Wayde Dreamer Foundation. This has been close to the heart of Wayne van Niekerk who, himself, was born prematurely at 29 weeks.

“Wayde first showed his dedication to this cause by making a generous personal donation of half a million Rand to The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust,” says Nhlapo. “T-Systems was very interested in where we too could leverage ICT to address some of the most critical points of the Neonatal unit.”

Current System For Handling Communication With Parents

Wayde van Niekerk, Dr Patel, CEO, Groote Schuur Hospital

The Neonatal Unit has been using a manual system for management of communication. Particularly the tracking of patients, updating contact details, and scheduling appointments is a key concern. Keeping track of appointments and ensuring parents were notified and reminded of times and cancellations proved to be difficult. Often resulting in missed appointments.

While functional on a basic level, the system was allowing for inefficiencies and errors. And, in an environment where the preservation of life and eyesight is key, this needed to be addressed with critical urgency.

Nhlapo describes T-System’s solution, “We have implemented a patient management solution that is built on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online system. This solution will assist in effectively managing contact information, patient bookings, appointments, confirmations as well as generate appointment reminders for Retinopathy Of Prematurity visits and Neurodevelopmental Clinics.”

The system is also capable of scheduling and managing staff standby rosters in line with set business rules. Reducing the pressure on doctors and nurses and ensuring proper availability of both is catered for.

CLICK BELOW to read about 10 ways to save on your medical expenses.

unnamed 2 - Wayde Van Niekerk & T-Systems Simplify Patient Management For Prem Babies

Addressing SA’s Communication Divide

Through the use of USSD, even the parent in the most remote part of Western Cape can be reached and reminded of an appointment. This is good innovation in the healthcare space. And, is something T-Systems intends to do going forward, in South Africa, with its broader healthcare solutions.

Schoonbee commented that involvement in this project was a natural fit as it was part of their motto; In South Africa, for South Africa.

“We are proud to be involved in this initiative. Together with Wayde, are committed to contributing positively towards reducing the high mortality rate caused by complications in premature babies. We are extremely proud of the role of our partner, Microsoft, who contributed by reducing licence fees for their platforms.”

Wayde Van Niekerk’s Advice To The Youth Of South Africa

When asked how the youth of today should stay motivated for the future he said, “It’s very tough because we have a lot of people quoting and motivating others. But, what it comes down to is self-discipline, self-desire, and inner passion that you need to get to know.

A lot of us just need to sit back, take a step back, and get to known ourselves before we go out and seek motivation from someone else. Know what you want in life and that will help you make the right choices. Build that good environment to get yourself to whatever level you want.”