By Caribbean News Now contributor
CAGUAS, Puerto Rico -- Radiologists at HIMAHealth in Puerto Rico will provide tele-radiology services to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Anguilla under an agreement effective October 15, 2012. This will be one of the very first active tele-radiologist services offered via a public private partnership in the region.
“We are extremely pleased and honored in contributing to Anguilla’s healthcare development,” stated Milton Segarra, vice president of HIMAHealth. “We know the quality of services, and more importantly, accuracy in clinical diagnostics, will improve significantly. No doubt this service will provide better healthcare services to the citizens of Anguilla and the neighbouring islands, and is one step further in taking HIMAHealth truly global.”
Through telemedicine, HIMA is already servicing several hospitals throughout Puerto Rico. The partnership between Princess Alexandra and HIMAHealth is the first for HIMA where telemedicine technology has been taken off island and, on a larger scale, it is one of the first telemedicine initiatives in the Caribbean region, improving accessibility of care to patients who normally have to travel for medical services that just do not exist on island.
HIMA’s director of corporate compliance and quality, Dianne Rosario summarized how telemedicine programs benefit patients that don’t always have access to specialized care.
“Thanks to advanced technology, the telemedicine program benefits patients by overcoming geographical, economic and transportation barriers which would normally hinder or delay a patient from receiving immediate access to highly trained medical physicians who are able to provide evidence based medicine remotely,” she said.
Through telemedicine, HIMA's radiologists will be able to read and interpret scans. Princess Alexandra is also in the process of potentially hiring an on island radiologist to serve the Island's needs. Having one of the few CT scanners throughout the region, Anguilla will also be able to service patients nearby in islands where patients would normally have to travel to Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, or Florida to receive care, thereby improving care not only in Anguilla but the entire region.
Anguilla’s Health Services Authority stated, “The Board of Directors, management and staff of the Health Authority of Anguilla are proud to be associated with HIMA Hospitals of Puerto Rico in upgrading the services provided to the public. Lessons related to the installation of the CT scan will certainly be learnt and the experiences used to further improve the general health services operations.”
Asked about the future of the collaboration, Segarra stated, “At HIMAHealth, we value the opportunity to share our technology and team up with Princess Alexandra Hospital’s medical faculty and management team, and certainly this could be just the beginning of a series of efforts to advance the practice of evidence base medicine throughout the region,”
Both HIMAHealth and Princess Alexandra Hospital have committed to working together to continue to build local capacity in a number of areas and to improve medical services throughout the Caribbean.