1 patient database to serve all public health-care institutions

SINGAPORE - All 43 public health-care institutions have adopted a centralised database that records patients' medical history in a single document.

This means that when a doctor wants to treat a patient, the patient is no longer required to recount his or her full medical history.

The doctor can pull up a single medical record of a patient that states if he or she has been treated at a public health-care institution before, and what the details of the treatments are. The document can then be edited to reflect the details of the new treatment.

This is expected to reduce duplicate testing, cut down on medication errors and reduce delays in treatment - potentially saving time and money for patients, as well as lives.

The National Electronic Health Records System was first introduced to 13 institutions in February this year. The rest followed suit in two separate batches in April and July, The Straits Times reported.

Institutions accessing the system include community hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and general practitioners (GPs).

The system, which has about 4,500 registered users and can handle up to 15,000 registered users, expects to see more GPs coming aboard next year.

In three to five years time, the ambitious project aims to have one medical record for every person, regardless of where he or she has sought treatment.

While the web-based application has an intuitive graphic user interface that requires "little or no training", the Ministry of Health (MOH) Holdings will provide training to all doctors and user guides on how to use the system.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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