PATIENT DATABASE UP IN 5 YEARS
Govt, private healthcare providers can access health records on single system
IN five years, the health record of every Malaysian will be available in one database, accessible to government and private healthcare providers.
With just a click, doctors can assess data on a patient’s condition, including information on non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, highblood pressure and heart-related illnesses.
In a press conference yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the system, known as the “Enhanced Primary Health Care” (EnPHC), would result in a more proactive and preventive approach to population wellness.
“We need this to be in place within five years, or Malaysia will become a sickly and unproductive nation by then.”
He said the prevalence of diabetes had tripled (6.3 per cent to 17.5 per cent) from 1986 to 2015, while blood cholesterol levels had doubled (23 per cent to 48 per cent) from 2006 to 2015.
“Most alarming is that more than 50 per cent of these cases were not diagnosed and the number increases yearly.”
The government had spent RM22.6 billion in direct and indirect expenditure in 2010, including on hospitalisation and medication costs, to treat complications from NCDs, he said.
The test run of the initiative would kick-start in July, involving 300,000 patients in 20 government clinics in Selangor and Johor.
“In the first phase, the population profiling database will be set up based on data provided by the Healthy Community Empowers the Nation programme, nongovernmental organisations and Health Clinic Advisory Panels.
“With the information, healthcare providers will suggest treatment according to patients’ health conditions.”
Another approach to the move was the Family Health Teams (FHT), where patients would be seen by a team led by the same doctor on each visit.
“This would enable quick response and reduce congestion and waiting time. A thorough and risk-based screening will be done by FHTs to determine the proper intervention.
“A care coordinator will be the bridge between the multidisciplinary team that will include dieticians, NCD educators and physiotherapists.”
Eventually, electronic medical records would be introduced to enable the database to be accessed by both private and government hospitals.
However, Dr Subramaniam said, this would involve high costs and manpower.