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Dubai Health Authority hosts smart clinic

Smart clinic discussed benefits of unified patient record systems

Dubai Health Authority hosts smart clinic
Dubai healthcare entities are making progress in the adoption of the National Unified Medical Records, says Al Redha.

Dubai Health Authority has held a smart clinic to discuss the future of smart health in Dubai and the benefits it can bring, as part of the HIMSS Middle East 2015 conference.

The clinic focused on the progress made in the adoption of unified electronic patient record systems, and its benefits to patients and in planning and managing healthcare.

Dr Mohammad Al Redha, director of health data and information analysis department at the DHA, said: "In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, all healthcare entities are moving towards the implementation of the National Unified Medical Records (NUMR) project which is led by the Ministry of Health in the UAE. This is undoubtedly the way forward and will benefit both patients and the overall health sector in numerous ways. This is in line with the Dubai Smart City Initiative and the ultimate goal is to achieve patient happiness, in this case technology is the enabler to achieve this goal."

Al Redha said that in the last four to five years, the DHA has seen an increase in the number of hospitals in Dubai that are on track with their automation plans towards a paperless environment and that there has been a big leap in the number of hospitals that have achieved digitization since the project of benchmarking electronic efficiencies which was introduced in 2011.

"The movement has gained momentum and once the national medical records project is implemented, it will unify all medical records of patients in the UAE, will provide up-to-date medical records, eliminate duplication and reduce registration times, help minimize medication errors and reduce length of hospital stays," he added.

Dr Saif Aljaibeji, regional general manager MENA region at United Health Group, said that providing a seamless flow of patient information across entities will not only benefit patient management, provide continuity of care and improve patient outcomes but also it will help in devising evidence-based health strategies especially for management of chronic diseases, it will reduce unnecessary costs that can be reinvested into implementing the latest technology.

Dr Ayesha Habeeb Al Mutawa, director of strategy and corporate excellence department at the Ministry of Health commented: "UAE is keen to implement technology to benefit patients and at the same time we want to focus on innovation and having the strategic foresight to ensure innovation is a part of our health strategy so that we can find the most lucrative solutions to the pressing health problems and technology is one of the enablers to achieve this."

Al Redha added that in 2011, Dubai implemented the latest coding for disease classification making it the first place in the world to implement the latest ICD-10-CM code. "The code is a disease classification code published by the United States for classifying diagnosis and reason for visits in all health care settings. For example, two doctors who have studied in two different countries may have a different name for an appendix inflammation but if they type the name using this system, there is one code to classify that disease. This means we all speak the same language using the help of codes. This helps insurance companies process claims and also provides accurate health data."

Al Redha added: "While other countries in the world have the earlier version of this coding system, since Dubai was newly implementing this, we decided to implement the very latest model and we have to be agile enough to continue to be the pioneers in implementing the updates as and when they are introduced."

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