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Singapore to Share E-Medical Data

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 9, 2007 in Health
Singapore will implement one Electronic Medical Record system online, so doctors, pharmacies, hospitals can share data about the patients and give treatment.
Singapore wants to put all the medical data electronically so they can be shared between hospitals, doctors, labs, and pharmacies. They call this policy "One Singaporean, OneEMR ". When the health ministry try to go via this route, there was some opposition about the security of the data. Today the Health ministry responded:
In response to privacy concerns voiced by MPs during a parliament session on Wednesday—a day after the government unveiled plans to introduce the electronic medical record (EMR) system in Singapore—Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: "We have to decide what are the critical data, and some data are so sensitive that they would never be shared. So it doesn't mean 'one Singaporean, one EMR' means everything, all the gory details, are out in outer space."
Health Minister Khaw said issues like HIV and sexual diseases, private data will be kept confidential. He said this policy, "One Singaporean, One EMR", the centralized database will be an important infrastructure in transforming the health care in the country.
Currently he pointed out that every Singapore citizen have multiple records stored in various clinics and hospitals in various formats, and there is no coordination between them. Because of this patients have to tests repeated and scans done again when they go see different doctors, which make it expensive for the Government and patients.
This transformation to the EMR system will be done in a phased manner, step by step. He said only a few countries have put an EMR System that connects the Public,Private and Charity sectors because of several issues in implementing the system such as data protection, regulation and audit problems. He wants to develop common data standards so everyone can follow it uniformly. First Singapore will start with the public sector and embrace all sectors after successful implementation.
He said, "We have started to build the linkages to the private sector GP (general practitioner) clinics, by helping them to set up their IT systems under the Chronic Disease management effort," he added. "I am confident that we will get there."
I agree with Singapore EMR system will help doctors, patients, pharmacies and hospital administrators alike with one uniform system, will help quick diagnosis and proper treatment.
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