Angry Doctor

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Big Doctor is watching you 3

We've visited this topic before, but angry doc thought he might bring his readers' attention to it again since it made the news last night.

Govt to introduce medical standards enabling info-sharing of patients' records

SINGAPORE: The Health Ministry is taking the next step in making sure that electronic medical records "talk" to each other.

It will provide a national IT backbone for doctors from hospitals and GP clinics to tap into these records, and the aim is to improve long term care since a family doctor will now know exactly what a patient has gone through in hospital.

The new system, still being developed, will give your family doctor access to your health screening results, medical treatments and the drugs you have been prescribed.

This seamless care will become more critical with an ageing population, and with family doctors managing chronic diseases.

Right now, electronic medical records are linked only at public hospitals.

"We need to build an IT infrastructure that enables electronic medical records to be shared. We don't need to share everything that a hospital may know about a patient because it might not be relevant, so it's about sharing what needs to be shared that's relevant to the patient's long term care," said Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary, Health Ministry.

However, the Health Ministry's stand is that the system needs to make sense, so doctors will be roped intensively to develop it, to make sure it is usable.

In fact there is no single vendor who can provide such an integrated system right now.

"The clinicians themselves must feel ownership for this; they must believe that this is something useful to them. IT is a supporting element; it is not the driving element. What the clinicians want to do, what the doctors want to do must be the main objective and we want to support that," said Chan Yeng Kit, CEO Infocomm Development Authority.

Regarding privacy of medical records -- there will be authentication framework so that only those approved will be given access to the information.

The system is part of the Health Ministry's vision of One Singaporean, One Family Physician, One Electronic Medical Record.

Nothing new there, but angry doc just happened to notice that the system is described a 'backbone'.

Coincidentally(?), the NHS version of a nation-wide electronic medical record system is called 'The Spine'. You may follow the link to read Dr Crippen's take on that system.



  • Backbones are very common in IT terms for huge data structures, although the NHS tried to put a spin to it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 05, 2007 2:13 pm  

  • hi.

    we have blogged on the same thing :)

    check my post and take on this:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 05, 2007 11:12 pm  

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