Do the citizens know ,Next phase of electronic health record to be implemented by April 2011.
SINGAPORE: Patients can expect cost savings from reduced duplicate or unnecessary tests, lower medication errors and adverse drug events from the next phase of the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR).
Costing $176 million and to be implemented by April 2011, the system will be expanded to include a number of primary and step—down care providers, including GPs, polyclinics and a community hospital.
The Health Ministry said the next phase was moving towards creating a health record that is truly personalised and available everywhere.
Key information such as a patient’s demographics, allergies, clinical diagnoses, medication history, X—rays, laboratory investigations and discharge summaries will be fully exchangeable between various healthcare providers.
Previously, the clusters — SingHealth and NHG — operate their clusters electronic medical records independently.
As an interim solution, an Electronic Medical Records Exchange (EMRX) was developed to allow secure cross—cluster exchange of patient information.
This is to ensure that a patient’s record can be pulled out regardless where he or she seeks treatment.
EMRX was subsequently extended to healthcare partners, providing a pivotal capability for easy movement or records across the public healthcare clusters, community hospitals and MINDEF, facilitating care delivery.
But further exploitation of the data has been limited by a major drawback of the EMRX.
A document—level exchange, with no standardised or structured data, the EMRX makes seamless sharing of data beyond documents difficult.
For example, diagnostic images, including X—rays cannot be exchanged over EMRX as various institutions use different vendors and their current viewers use different versions of image protocols.
The ministry says the new system would be implemented in phases and take many years to be fully implemented.
This is because the National Health Records System has to cover the entire healthcare ecosystem and not just the public sector.
It says each subsequent phase must also factor in the experience of the earlier phase and exploit emerging technologies.