Paperless hospital in Africa offers prototype for new model of care

By Molly Merrill
03:54 PM

A new hospital recently opened in Botswana is being touted as a paperless hospital "without borders."

Bokamoso Private Hospital, a 200-bed, state-of-the-art specialty hospital that opened in January, is allowing patients to stay in the country for the medical care they need, said officials. The hospital is located in Botswana's capital Gaborone, which has a population of just over 300,000.

The hospital is home to an advanced information technology department that supports electronic medical records and telemedicine capability with satellite connectivity.

The physicians and nurses employed by the hospital come from all over the world and follow U.S. protocols for care, providing trauma, cancer, cardiac and orthopedic treatment for patients. The hospital also has a full service labor and delivery unit using an LDRP room model.

According to hospital officials, Bokamoso has served over 7,400 patients since it opened its doors, achieving a growth rate of more than 50 percent from month to month. Bokamoso offers a prototype for new model of low-cost, high-quality care around the world, said officials.

"Our goal was to have a highly efficient hospital that delivers exemplary care," said Jonathan Weiner, CEO of OR International, the New York-based firm that led Bokamoso's development. "Building a new hospital from the ground up enabled us to use cutting-edge technology and design a facility around global best practices in both clinical care and operations. The facility was built, staffed, equipped, commissioned and opened in 20 months from the first shovel in the ground, which is a record in most places around the world, at a total cost of $100 million."

The hospital is owned by the Bokamoso Private Hospital Trust, formed by Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPMOS) and PULA Medical Aid Fund (PULA), and is a private not-for-profit healthcare provider.

"Most people probably don't look to Africa as a center of healthcare innovation, but we believe that this hospital will deliver a unique combination of high quality specialty care that meets the highest international standards and high levels of productivity while being affordable for the residents of Botswana," said OR International Director Zal Sarkari. "Today when you enter the hospital, you might think you were in any new hospital in the U.S. or Europe."

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