T-Systems South Africa, through its partnership with 400m world-record holder, Wayde van Niekerk‚ is improving the lives of newborns by donating a patient management system to the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust.

The Newborns Groote Schuur Trust, an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO), was founded in 2008 and raises funds to support the work of the neonatal unit at the Groote Schuur Hospital, primarily for the care and treatment of over 2,000 of the 40,000 babies born in the Southern Peninsula region annually.

According to Head of T-Systems South Africa’s IT Portfolio and Solution Sales, Mpumi Nhlapo, this particular initiative was a natural first beneficiary of the Wayde Dreamer Foundation, being close to the heart of Van Niekerk, who was born prematurely at 29 weeks himself.

“Wayde first showed his dedication to this cause by making a generous personal donation of half a million rand to the Newborns Groote Schuur Trust. T-Systems was very interested in where we, too, could leverage ICT to address some of the most critical points of the neonatal unit,” said Nhlapo.

The neonatal unit has been using a manual system for management of communication. Particularly the tracking of patients, updating contact details and scheduling appointments was a key concern. Keeping track of appointments and ensuring parents were notified and reminded of times and cancellations proved to be difficult, often resulting in missed appointments.

While functional on a basic level, the system was allowing for inefficiencies and errors, which, in an environment where the preservation of life and eyesight is key, needed to be addressed with critical urgency.

“We have implemented a patient management solution that is built on Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online system. This solution will assist in effectively managing contact information, patient bookings, appointments, confirmations as well as generate appointment reminders for ROP (a disease of the eye that occurs in premature babies) visits and neurodevelopmental clinics,” said Nhlapo.

“Additionally, the system is capable of scheduling and managing staff standby rosters in line with set business rules, reducing the pressure on doctors and nurses and ensuring proper availability of both is catered for,” continued Nhlapo.

Through the use of USSD, even the parent in the most remote part of the Western Cape can be reached and reminded of their appointment.

“Our involvement in this project is a natural fit, particularly when considering our motto of ‘in South Africa, for South Africa’,” said Managing Director at T-Systems South Africa, Gert Schoonbee.

“We are proud to be involved in this initiative and, together with Wayde, are committed to contributing positively towards reducing the high mortality rate caused by complications in premature babies. We are extremely proud of the role of our partner, Microsoft, which contributed by reducing licence fees for their platforms,” concluded Schoonbee.

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