Big Doctor is watching you
As I promised andrew, here's the link to the SMC Newsletter 2005.
The article I was referring to is Prof Chee's article, titled "Medicine 2010".
Regarding the use of computerised medical records, he has this to say:
"So by 2020 with our IT infrastructure in place... information would flow seamlessly. That which is confidential would be guarded by the patients (with access granted to the providers only when they give permission) and other information available would be for education, training, research and quality or performance indicators."
"... as regards the clinical competency, clinical outcomes and practice patterns of doctors, the Ministry of Health would be in a very good position to access all necessary data warehouses available when Medicine in Singapore is fully computerised... All will be done once doctors key in patient data into their computers, which would be nationally linked. From these data, the SMC will know more about the clinical practice and patient care of its doctors. Frightening? No. Just becoming more transparent which is what patients and the public expect."
I am a little disappointed he didn't address the issue of patients' responsibility. I doubt patient expectations will change drastically over the next five years or so. Come the time when every doctor's every move is under scrutiny, patients may find their doctors becoming less willing to accommodate their every wish/request/demand. How will patients come to terms with this new paradigm where doctors aren't really truly free to do what they want anymore?
We live in interesting times.