Considering the health care situation in Thailand, resulting from changes in the economic and social landscape, combined with the changing demographics transforming Thailand into an aging society, whose population suffer from various congenital diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc, it is imperative that holistic health care services be provided at the primary level at this moment.
The solution to the problem, initiated by the Ministry of Public Health, is to establish a network of family physicians and clinics, or a primary care network, to provide more holistic health care. But at present time, the primary care network is still unable to connect and integrate information between networks in a meaningful way.
The Health Care Supply Chain and Logistics Management Center, Faculty of Engineering at Mahidol University, in collaboration with the Center for Information and Communication Technologies, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health; Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, and Mimotech Co., Ltd. (AIS affiliate) jointly conducted a research project titled “Study and testing of virtual hospital models by managing supply chain and logistics in primary care network system”. The aim was to study the potential Extra/Virtual hospital model for the future, which received a research grant from the Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC) for the fiscal year 2020.
The research team, led by Assoc. Prof. Duangphan Kritchanchai Saringkarin, Ph.D., Mahidol University, has conducted a study and found a way to develop a prototype system that can manage data and link data both inside and outside the primary care network, using the concept of Extra/ Virtual hospital in the development effort, resulting in a prototype system called Primary Care on Cloud or PCoC, which is a system for data management and data integration among primary care clinics that function like a Cloud Service. This can be applied in real usage quickly by primary care clinics, and the system can integrate the data into the database of the host hospital, allowing for sending of reports such as prescription medication reports, etc.
In addition the host hospital can verify information and collect data from the primary care clinics more quickly. and can also send data to the central database through the system data linkage, all of which is to enable the primary care clinics to operate efficiently, and reduce time for submitting reports to host hospitals and the central database. Moreover, the goal is to reduce the administrative cost of primary care clinics and enable planning for the management of resources within the primary care network accurately.