By 2021, all patients in the country will have single unified medical records which can be accessed by any doctor in the country through the Emirates Identity card.
The unified records will serve as a healthcare database and will record details of the patient – from the kind of treatment being undertaken to the medicines consumed. However, patient confidentiality will be at the forefront.
Besides reducing costs of unnecessary medical tests, the database will also cut down on medical errors, said Ali Juma Alajme, Director of IT Management at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHP), who is heading the project. At a later stage, it will also be linked to insurance companies.
He said that the project will be implemented in several phases. “A study is being carried out with all the health entities in the country to develop this roadmap,” he said. “We are agreeing on a standard and moving to the unified platform,” he added.
The project is already well under way with the studies expected to be completed by the first quarter of this year.
In 2018, all government hospitals will be part of the project and private hospitals/health clinics will be linked between 2019 and 2021, he said.
Alajme said that the project was part of the ministry’s five-year strategy. “The same standards will be applicable across the board so the quality of data collected will be world class.”
The platform will also serve as a health database. “The data collected will help in decision-making and in addition will show a complete picture of the country’s healthcare needs. For example, we will be able to know how many beds are there in total in all hospitals, the kind of diseases etc.,” he added.
Healthcare facilities will have to update their systems to be part of the project.
The project has been modified to suit the UAE healthcare system after studies were carried out in Singapore and the USA, where similar models are already operating. “The UAE has developed its own model and IP after studying these countries,” said Alajme.
The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), Medical Services of the Armed Forces and Pure Health are part of the project.
How the project will help deliver better healthcare
Mubaraka Mubarak Ali Ibrahim, Director for Health Information Systems, said that the project will improve the quality of health care and patient safety. She stressed that the database can help in:
> Assessing performance
> Better automate the healthcare system
> Ensure a smoother flow of digital information
> Save previous medical history for the patient – creating a way to make better clinical decisions by providing the correct records and ensuring quick access to it.