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Dubai Health Authority electronic medical records to launch this year

Dubai citizens and health organisations will soon benefit from electronic medical records

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As the Dubai Government continues to implement its smart health and digital transformation strategy, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced that its electronic medical record (EMR) system, Salama, will be rolled out in three phases this year.

According to the DHA, the project aims to provide patients access to their medical record through a portal and ensure the electronic patient medical record can be shared across various DHA facilities.

So far, 1.4 million DHA patient medical records and 112 million transactions have been transferred to the Salama system, and 11,000 DHA staff will be trained to use it in 2017.

Amani Al Jassmi, director of information technology at the DHA, said the first phase will be implemented in April in Rashid Hospital, the Dermatology Centre, Airport Medical Centres, Dubai Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre, and the Al Barsha Health Centre.

“Salama marks the transformation of our medical services as it re-engineers the entire process, unifying 25 applications through a single interface. The records system will bring together information about radiology, laboratory, dental, dietetics and so on under one single system.”

Once live, Salama will generate one big database on patients, hospitals, illnesses and incidence of infections. The DHA will then use this through different dashboards. “So a physician will refer to a dashboard relevant to him, and the director general will have a comprehensive dashboard giving him a complete look at the emirate’s state of healthcare,” said Al Jassmi.

The DHA said the second phase will be implemented in August 2017 in Dubai Hospital, Dubai Diabetes Centre and all Primary Health Care Centres, while the third phase in November will be implemented in Latifa Hospital, Hatta Hospital, Thalassemia Centre, Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre, and all DHA Medical Fitness Centres.

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Humaid Al Qatami, chairman and director general of the DHA, said Salama will not only benefit patients by providing them with online access to their medical records but also improve patient outcomes by ensuring the electronic patient file follows the patient across the DHA network of health facilities.

Al Qatami said the implementation of the project was a “vital milestone for the DHA to achieve the authority’s ambition to move towards digital healthcare provision”.

The system will also help facilitate automatic cross-referencing of medication and allergy interactions.

“It will provide real-time alerts, warnings and flags to draw attention to changes in the patient medication or patient condition,” said Al Jassmi. “Moreover, allergy warnings will always be displayed on the screen which directly results in minimising any medication errors.”

Once the system is implemented, it will arm the healthcare sector with complete information required to take the progress forward.

“We will know about infection breakout, get data on non-communicable diseases, get a complete gender breakdown of the state of health of residents, the success of treatment at respective hospitals and their rate of readmission,” said Al Jassmi. “This kind of big data will help greatly in designing our health strategy for the future,” concluded Al Jassmi.

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