Dubai, UAE: A unique medical and health record system will integrate all 2,700 public and private health-care facilities in Dubai, providing a single electronic file for each resident, officials announced on Sunday.
The new database will go live by the first quarter of 2018.
The system, a Dubai Health Authority (DHA) initiative, was launched on Sunday by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, as part of the Dubai Smarter, Dubai Healthier programme that is seeking to fulfil the goals of the National Health Strategy announced by DHA for 2016-2021. It will eventually be linked to the National Unified Medical Record (NUMR) to be initiated by the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Salama system will create one electronic record for patients across all public health hospitals, primary health centres and other facilities, while the Electronic Health Record (EHR) or NABIDH system will extend this medical record across all private hospitals, integrating medical records of the patients.
NABIDH (National Analysis and Backbone Integration for Dubai Health) which also means pulse in Arabic, will create big health data that will be used as an analytical tool in crisis management, management of disease outbreaks and also play a role in implementing preventive health care.
This is going to be one of the biggest integrated electronic patient information systems in the Middle East. The big data which will include details of the kind of lifestyle diseases, patient profiles, their unique allergies, drug sensitivities, conditions, treatment and the doctors who treated a patient, will be available at the click of a button and the patient can easily consult any doctor in the emirate where his file will follow him electronically, making seamless connections from private to public health care.
All this information will be stored in a Central Command System which will coordinate with other essential services such as the Civil Defence, the ambulance services, immigration, the municipality, hospitals, health centres and pharmacies.
Humaid Al Qutami, chairman and director-general of DHA, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the launch, “Both Salama and NABIDH will change the face of health-care service in Dubai and give us a clear picture of the health of the residents, guiding us to frame the right public health policies. Later, this big data will be linked to the other emirates, providing UAE a very clear and concise picture of the direction and magnitude of health-care services.”
Explaining how NABIDH will work, Dr Mohammad Abdul Qader Al Redha, director of health data and information analysis at DHA, said: “Once the NABIDH system is fully functional, instead of the patient chasing the big data, the big data will follow the patient around. So, for instance, if there is an outbreak of food poisoning, the health care and municipal authorities will be alert to follow the pattern and know from where the cases are being reported. In case of a public accident like a fire or an automobile accident the ambulance will know exactly how many ICU beds are available in which hospital and, depending on the severity of the injuries, give priority to emergency patients, sending them to the closest available bed.
“Similarly, in case of a disease outbreak, the movement of the number of patients coming from a single region at the airport can be monitored by the airport and doctors, nurses, and paramedics, which will save precious time.”
Dr Al Redha added: “The vital health data created can be used to devise evidence-based policies to tackle major public health issues and can be used effectively for research purposes. The data will help us develop effective disease management guidelines and programmes. For example, NABIDH’s alerts and notification system can send reminders to doctors to comply with best practices such as requesting an eye test for their diabetic patient once every six months. It will also monitor doctors and insurance companies through e-claims to avert any kind of fraud.”
Amani Al Jasmi, DHA’s Information Technology director handing the EMR initiative Salama, told Gulf News: “The EMR system which integrates the health-care records of a patient at all public hospitals and primary health-care centres will build a smart foundation for health care in Dubai, providing secure and reliable clinical data to these hospitals on the one end and also empowering a patient to access his records and make appointments with consultation through the smart application. It will be a great precursor to streamlining patient data as Dubai prepares to be the largest medical tourism centre and the integration of the EMR and EHR will facilitate a quicker, more efficient and qualitative change in the health-care system.”
© Gulf NewsFeb 2016