/ -- Worldwide, e-Health is playing a significant role in driving healthcare evolution. According to the World Health Organization, healthcare costs globally are increasing by nearly 5% annually and health systems see e-Health as contributing significantly to closing the gap between a decreasing financial envelope and growing demand.
However, it is not just financial impact that is driving the digital revolution. Health systems are also keen to tap into changing patient behavior by capturing patient-generated data thus having a positive impact on streamlining health systems.
In line with other health systems, digital technology is also playing a significant part in transforming the health system in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) is committed to e-Health; its transformation program positions digital technology as the key enabler in delivering its vision of a fully integrated healthcare system.
The MOH is taking a measured approach to have a marked impact on patients and providers alike, by investing in innovative and advanced technologies in e-Health.
MAWID, meaning appointment, is one of the several digital initiatives the MOH has launched. Designed to give service users power to manage their health journey and take greater ownership of their health, it centralizes and automates referrals across the health system by linking them electronically and streamlining their operations.
With MAWID, the MOH has successfully removed data sharing barriers so providers can easily share appointment calendars between themselves and with users, who now have the ability to book and manage their medical appointments instantaneously whenever and wherever they are; a new way of accessing service.
MAWID's inbuilt functionality enables it to capture key patient information such as satisfaction scoring in real-time, which benefits MOH significantly providing access to invaluable qualified and quality health data to help in future service design for continuous improvement.
MAWID is already showing exciting results and proving to be a powerful example of the impact of digital technology. Having achieved almost complete adoption in its first year, with 98% of hospitals and primary health care centers now linked to MAWID and more than 6.5 million users registered for online facilities. It has significantly streamlined and reduced delays in the appointments system with, to date, more than 16 million appointments being processed.
MAWID is having marked impact on patient experience; surveys conducted among users revealing a 78% satisfaction rate for using MAWID. Combined with the introduction of 937, MOH's central Call Center line, the MOH is successfully integrating service access in a holistic, person-centric way.
Saudi MOH is not stopping here. MAWID is just one part of its wider digital strategy to ensure Saudi can deliver on its vision to secure a better health future for its people.
"The reality is that the future is brighter with the use of technologies in health services," explains Dr. Tawfig AlRabiah, Saudi Minister of Health. "The aim is that the Kingdom will be a leader in this field and MAWID is one part of delivering that vision."
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