Japan health workers overlook COVID-19 database
October 27, 2020

Japan health workers overlook COVID-19 database

TOKYO (JAPAN) – Japanese health workers are overlooking the government’s real-time COVID-19 database, which was brought forth in the middle of the pandemic to effectively deal with outbreaks. This has indicated that the new prime minister’s goal of digitising the government would face new hurdles.

A health ministry survey showed this week that only 40% of medical institutions are using the online database known as HER-SYS, launched in May. Respondents had concerns that the system consumes more time while using or with regard to duplicated work that they still have to go for paper forms and fax machines.

Satoru Hashimoto, the director of intensive care at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, said, “There is a big shortage of personnel who can cope with this system.”

Fumie Sakamoto, the infection control manager at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, HER-SYS has a “notorious reputation”, as it requires the filling in more than 120 fields.

Most hospitals in Tokyo or Osaka still haven’t installed it as they have their own systems, she said.

New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is aiming to create a new digital agency.

Health ministry official Hiroshi Umeda told reporters on Wednesday that the ministry has undertaken the survey as a means to improve the system. He has asked a working group of experts for advise as to how to improve the system.

“We are trying to accommodate request to make it more easy and convenient,” he said.

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