Terida Systems Inc.

Terida Systems Inc.

April 21, 2008 11:44 ET

The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago Selects Terida Systems Inc. to Design and Implement National HIV/AIDS Surveillance and Epidemic Management Solution

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - The 2006 UNAIDS Report on Global HIV Epidemics estimates between 15,000-40,000 people are living with AIDS in The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Only 38% of those in need of treatment received it at the end of 2006. With a population of only 1.3 million, these numbers are high. This profound presence of HIV and AIDS needs to be checked if the region is to thrive and prosper.

The Trinidad and Tobago government recognized that strong action was necessary to curtail and manage the disease. In 2003, a five-year HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan was published calling for "a truly comprehensive, expanded national response". The ultimate goal is to slow the number of deaths, decrease the number of afflictions and bring the disease under control.

After thorough evaluation of available options, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago engaged Toronto-based Terida Systems Inc. (www.terida.com) to help attain this goal. Terida specializes in designing and implementing adaptable, affordable expert solutions for chronic and epidemic disease management and surveillance. Working with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Terida designed and has commenced deployment of a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS management system that addresses two priority areas identified by the government. The first area is patient Treatment, Care and Support, the other is Surveillance and Research.

The solution includes business intelligence-surveillance tools, clinical systems, electronic health records, laboratory systems, blood bank systems, expert treatment protocols, as well as public education and counselling. The following is a simplified, yet accurate, description of the national HIV/AIDS management system designed and implemented by Terida.

Data collected from a laboratory, blood bank, pharmacies and clinical systems that are installed in private and public clinics across the country, is integrated and aggregated in a comprehensive HIPAA compliant electronic health record (EHR) designed specifically to meet the chronic disease management objective. The laboratory module ensures test results are instantly available to patients and doctors.

The expert system delivers the most advanced WHO-compliant HIV/AIDS treatment protocols to local doctors. The latest advances in HIV/AIDS treatment translated into clinical guidelines and algorithms by a team of, expert physicians from the University of North Carolina collaborating with HIV experts in Trinidad and Tobago, are instantly available to patients.

The integrated pharmacy management module ensures prescriptions are filled by patients on time and that relevant information is accumulated in the EHR database. A separate component of the solution ensures continual medical education for patients, their families as well as nurses and health care providers.

The business intelligence and surveillance system allows the National AIDS Coordinating Committee, National Surveillance Unit, the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to closely monitor the situation, analyze available options and make informed decisions.

The contact-tracing component allows for timely information capturing regarding possible spread of the disease. This allows for necessary prevention measures to be implemented.

Finally, the system contains a dedicated HL7-compliant communication hub that enables and accelerates the transfer of vital information between all current and future system components. This hub ensures a seamless flow of privacy-ensured data and connects all system components together.

According to Dr. Charles van der Horst, one of the expert physicians from the University of North Carolina's infectious diseases department involved in designing system protocols, "Terida's program with Trinidad and Tobago is revolutionary in helping nations battle infectious diseases. It allows stakeholders committed to patient care to prioritize, integrate and initiate action in the fight against illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and beyond. Furthermore, Terida has made cutting edge technology affordable and therefore available to developing nations. There is now a solid future in the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases."

According to Terida president, David Gillman, "This assignment's mission is to save lives and reduce infection rates by providing the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with a health focused informatics system that will dramatically reduce reporting times on positive cases."

Although the project is not scheduled for full completion until the end of 2008, it has already made a difference for people living with HIV/AIDS. Implementation is being rolled out phase by phase, and immediate results are evident. One such result is reduced waiting times in processing HIV screen tests. What used to take two days, now takes seven hours. HIV confirmation now takes only one day to complete instead of three days.

"Immense attention has been paid to training and engaging local personnel in this project. This has resulted in a positive response to change and overwhelming acceptance of the program. Terida has augmented its processes to ensure efficient knowledge transfer. Milestones are delivered frequently and regularly. This approach of deploying a complex solution has reduced stress levels. It also ensures local staff engagement in learning and using the new systems. The result is exactly what we want to see - a gradual improvement in the overall health care delivery process. Lives are saved even before the project is fully completed," says Gillman.

This project represents a culmination of years of planning towards the betterment of a potentially very sick portion of the population. Working towards preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS through active surveillance, effective diagnosis and treatment, and education will benefit Trinidad and Tobago both economically and socially. The Terida team's approach aligns well with several evolving international standards - particularly, efforts across the United States, Canada, and Europe. As attested by the multi-national team of vendors and experts assembled, the intent is to offer a prototype STI/HIV/AIDS surveillance system that provides a framework for nationwide electronic health records - a system that will put Trinidad and Tobago in the forefront of healthcare surveillance management in the Caribbean.

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