We have seen various aspects related to EMR in our earlier blogs. Is EMR required by Law is a question that we will be discussing here. In many countries, the government supports the use of EMR for insurance purposes and in general to unify the patient’s records of its citizens.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Keeping EMR instead of paper-records is backed and supported by many developed nations like in the USA, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires doctors to use an EMR system that has been certified as safe.
This certification process ensures that EMR systems are secure from hackers, viruses, and other threats. The U.S Department of Health & Human Services also sets standards for how well EMR systems must work in order to be HIPAA-compliant.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required healthcare providers to adopt and demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic medical records in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.
Hospitals that had not demonstrated meaningful use were penalized if they did not comply with the federal mandate- which led most hospitals to adopt new systems or risk losing billions on patients who do not qualify for these benefits.
This American standard is followed in many nations as it has been proven to be efficient and productive.
The Middle East Initiatives and SALAMA
Countries around the world are moving from a paper-based working system to an e-governance model. This trend is fast growing in the Middle East. The achievement UAE has made in this aspect is tremendous. As a part of this they are promoting paperless campaigns in all sectors, in order to decrease the carbon footprint in line with Dubai’s green vision.
This has reflected in the health care sector too. Following this campaign, many of the processes have taken a leap to the electronic version. The use of EMR came in as a natural shift to the latest technology.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) first launched the concept of a unified EMR system under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai in February 2016, the project was named SALAMA. The goal of this project is to produce an EMR for every patient.
MALAFFI and NABIDH
Recent initiatives by governments across the world in the light of covid wrecking havoc and the urgency to vaccinate each citizen is to have a one citizen one health record or consolidated EHR and we have seen this take shape with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai governments launching the MALAFFI and NABIDH HIE initiatives.
Some of the benefits that this EHR provides are multi-fold such as :
- Clinical Decision Support with access to a unified health record.
- Improves Patient Safety by reducing clinical errors.
- Increases Efficiency as the provider need not duplicate diagnostic procedures.
- Reduce Clinical Errors due to access to critical and relevant clinical data.
- Better chronic disease management.
- Health Monitoring
The rapid changes in government policies and laws reflect that the implementation of a unified health record for the citizens and expats will soon be a reality. Hospital owners and Health care providers will soon be required to use systems that are compliant with the Government regulations and visions.